Deborah (debris4spike) wrote,
Deborah
debris4spike

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Poetry MEME


I snagged this meme from jaded_jamie  and although I'm not always great at reading poetry, so when I did this meme last year I posted my favourite poem, Perhaps ... To R.A.L., which is why I have put the link.

However I do have one or to other poems that have meant something to me over the years.

When I was at school, doing my O lvels, I had to do both language and literature exams. One of the poems I remember looking at spoke of love - and especially as seen in a stone efigy. The actual tomb itself is inside Chichester Cathedral, and can be seen here, whilst the poem is "An Arundal Tomb" (after the name of the lord and his Lady) and was written by Philip Larkin :-

An Arundel Tomb


Side by side, their faces blurred
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd -
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor's sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would not guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away ;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the glass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love

Tags: meme, poetry
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