31 January 2013

Poetry Thursday - Snow by Louis Macneice

Not pink, and not roses, but the snow is the real thing


The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes –
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands –
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

Found at http://thepoeticquotidian.blogspot.co.uk/2007/01/louis-macneice-snow.html, and widely available elsewhere. 

Louis Macneice (1907-1963) was born in Belfast and educated in England (Sherborne and Oxford), and went on to have rather an interesting life; his work "was widely appreciated by the public during his lifetime, due in part to his relaxed, but socially and emotionally aware style. Never as overtly (or simplistically) political as some of his contemporaries, his work shows a humane opposition to totalitarianism as well as an acute awareness of his Irish roots." He has inspired many poets since his death, particularly those of Northern Ireland origin.

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