Jun 3

Poem from last week's class


Hello, poets! Here is the text of 'The Prospects', the poem by Peter Robinson which I read towards the end of the last session. Have a look in particular at how he uses some of the different effects we discussed (half-rhymes, assonance, alliteration etc) without writing in an overtly conventional form:



The Prospects

For Tom Phillips



Dark amazon striding towards us

across a dockland swing-bridge,

she’s not afraid of two grey beards

deep in conversation –

and nor’s the café-terrace waitress

with her ‘How is everything?’

as we wonder what might be amiss

below a coaster’s moored black stern.



Despite the burned-out petrol station

and demolition site we pass,

everything’s plain in an off-scape ahead

as you talk about the docks

among its populations

remaining, yes, remainiacs

from this seaport’s field full of folk,

trade-winded migratory stocks.



Plain too, your plan to emigrate

cutting through developments

far as where prospects are barred

under the pastel terraces;

for wanting to remain you’ll leave

and, leaving, they have to remain

while the very air’s free movement is

still cleaving to such heresies.


Peter Robinson

From Ravishing Europa (Shearsman, 2019)

New Posts
  • "Our Streets Don’t Cross" I reached out a hand and the tips of her fingers timidly brushed my palm. What is it that’s revealed to her in people’s palms that confuses her so? Do they clench in a fist about to deal a blow? Do their fingers spread out like the legs of a spider to show her the money they hold? I cannot imagine her smiling. Have words only ever reached her though bared teeth? She sleeps rough, yet her clothes look clean, cleaner than mine, actually: does she take showers in strangers’ bathrooms until every trace of them is washed away? Our streets don’t cross and our underpasses are empty, each in a different way. But can we imagine that one day things could be different? Could she hug her child in the mornings and fall asleep with him every evening? Could she go to a movie and laugh along with everyone else? Could I send her a link to a song? But this is not important. I only hope she can breathe whenever she wants to. I stopped thinking about it and decided to open the window to let in the fresh air. No wind rushed in. At least we suffocate the same. Written originally in Bulgarian, translated by Vladimir Poleganov. The whole project is here: https://issuu.com/svetoslav.todorov/docs/tenconversationszine
  • Industrial waste Passing through Метал , we’re watching patches of sky through empty factory windows. Or abstract colour patches – they’re carpets, clothes out to dry – showing signs of lives persisting in the apartment blocks trackside. * Crossed hammers on a rooftop are what’s left of former glories spelled out in one last slogan enduring from those times: the dignity of labour in the mines. * Precisely on the hour we’re underground. Water pumps, cutters, extractor fans are just so much relic machinery. We’re reading museum labels. The light at the end of this tunnel is another searing June day. For now we’re out of the sun, cool in these galleries that once were hot and noisy as hell – a hell all but one hope had abandoned. * Crushed cans, rolling bottles, rubbish strewn across a podium – they’re overlooked by poets and their famous words: exhortations to build new worlds from a century back or more. It’s as if they might rise above remains of a new economy – the one that shut factories, mines, left populations adrift in apartment blocks skirting a town in search of its fresh purpose. Pernik, 22 June 2019
  • Guys, this is the book I told you about. If you Google it, there are some pages of it uploaded to get a glimpse: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercises_in_Style It is published in Bulgarian too, Упражнения по стил, I have it somewhere or maybe I've borrowed it to someone, I have no idea. But it's a great book!

+359 883 496 235

©2019 by Part Time Language & Culture Center