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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Precursors



In between the endless onslaught of reading worthy and important (and usually badly written) official documents, there's so much more to be read.
This always feels like a July poem; especially after the weather change we've just had, of almost oppressive heat, building into the inevitable downpour.
This poem also reminds me too a bit of the dusty corridors of parliament, where there air is thick with ancient quotes, the over-bearing weight of history, infinite detail and a stifled perspective and anachronism rule - and it is sometimes easy to feel that 'none but insects dare to sing or pirouette.'    At times when the air seems unbearably thick with third-hand breath, it is easy to wish the rain would come to flush it all away- and I think many might suspect that politics can always do with more of those who have the gusto of wind or water-spout...
PRECURSORS 

O that the rain would come— the rain in big battalions— 
Or thunder flush the hedge a more clairvoyant green 
Or wind walk in and whip us and strip us or booming 
Harvest moon transmute this muted scene. 

But all is flat, matt, mute, unlivened, unexpectant, 
And none but insects dare to sing or pirouette; 
That Man is a dancer is an anachronism— 
Who has forgotten his steps or hardly learnt them yet. 

Yet one or two we have known who had the gusto 
Of wind or water-spout, and one or two 
Who carry an emerald lamp behind their faces 
And— during thunder-storms— the light comes shining through. 

LOUIS MACNEICE 

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