28 May 2015

Poetry Thursday - Modern Love by Douglas Dunn

(Bit late with this today - been fighting moths - but I hope you enjoy the poem!)
Matisse, Acanthus 1912 (via)

"Modern Love" - Douglas Dunn

It is summer, and we are in a house
That is not ours, sitting at a table
Enjoying minutes of a rented silence,
The upstairs people gone. The pigeons lull
To sleep the under-tens and invalids,
The tree shakes out its shadows to the grass,
The roses rove through the wilds of my neglect.
Our lives flap, and we have no hope of better
Happiness than this, not much to show for love
Than how we are, or how this evening is,
Unpeopled, silent, and where we are alive
In a domestic love, seemingly alone,
All other lives worn down to trees and sunlight,
Looking forward to a visit from the cat.

Douglas Dunn (b.1942) is a major Scottish poet. After attending the Scottish School of Librarianship, he worked for 14 months as a librarian in Akron, Ohio, leaving after being involved in a serious car accident and receiving call-up papers for the war in Vietnam. In 1969, studying English at Hull University, he graduated with a first-class degree, by which time he was working in the university library under Philip Larkin. It was Larkin's refusal, after publication of Dunn's first collection of poems, to allow time off for reading engagements, to led to the decision to become a full-time writer in 1971.

You can read what happened next here.


Anonymous said...

Love the poem and the painting. Hate moths. :(

Sandy said...

hmmm. Akron Ohio! Not, I think, that I went to the Library in the city at that age. We lived in some of the outlying towns still considered Akron. My uncle was in Vietnam.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Silly me. I thought the art with this post was a fiber piece until I read the attribution. Lovely pairing with a lovely poem.