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Thomas Blackburn

Hospital For Defectives

By your unnumbered charities
A miracle disclose,
Lord of the Images, whose love
The eyelids and the rose
Takes for a language, and today
Tell to me what is said
By these men in a turnip field
And their unleavened bread.

For all things seem to figure out
The stirrings of your heart,
And two men pick the turnips up
And two men pull the cart;
And yet between the four of them
No word is ever said
Because the yeast was not put in
Which makes the human bread.
But three men stare on vacancy
And one man strokes his knees;
What is the meaning to be found

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An Invitation

Holding with shaking hands a letter from some
Official – high up he says in the Ministry,
I note that I am invited to Birmingham,
There pedagogues to address for a decent fee.
'We like to meet,' he goes on, 'men eminent
In the field of letters each year,' and that's well put,
Though I find his words not wholly relevant
To this red-eyed fellow whose mouth tastes rank as soot.
No doubt what he's thinking of is poetry
When 'Thomas Blackburn' he writes, and not the fuss
A life makes when it has no symmetry,
Though the term 'a poet' being mainly posthumous,
Since I'm no stiff, is inappropriate.
What I can confirm is the struggle that never lets up
Between the horses of Plato beneath my yoke,
One after Light, and for Hell not giving a rap,
The other only keen on infernal smoke.
And poems...? From time to time they commemorate
Some particularly dirty battle between these two;
I put the letter down – what's the right note?

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Café Talk

'Of course,' I said, 'we cannot hope to find
What we are looking for in anyone;
They glitter, maybe, but are not the sun,
This pebble here, that bit of apple rind.
Still, it's the Alpine sun that makes them burn,
And what we're looking for, some indirect
Glint of itself each of us may reflect,
And so shed light about us as we turn.'
Sideways she looked and said, 'How you go on!'
And was the stone and rind, their shinings gone.

'It is some hard dry scale we must break through,
A deadness round the life. I cannot make
That pebble shine. Its clarity must take
Sunlight unto itself and prove it true.
It is our childishness that clutters up
With scales out of the past a present speech,
So that the sun's white finger cannot reach
An adult prism.'
'Will they never stop,

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poem by Thomas BlackburnReport problemRelated quotes
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Café Talk

'Of course,' I said, 'we cannot hope to find
What we are looking for in anyone;
They glitter, maybe, but are not the sun,
This pebble here, that bit of apple rind.
Still, it's the Alpine sun that makes them burn,
And what we're looking for, some indirect
Glint of itself each of us may reflect,
And so shed light about us as we turn.'
Sideways she looked and said, 'How you go on!'
And was the stone and rind, their shinings gone.

'It is some hard dry scale we must break through,
A deadness round the life. I cannot make
That pebble shine. Its clarity must take
Sunlight unto itself and prove it true.
It is our childishness that clutters up
With scales out of the past a present speech,
So that the sun's white finger cannot reach
An adult prism.'
'Will they never stop,

[...] Read more

poem by Thomas BlackburnReport problemRelated quotes
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