Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Poems for the Poetry Library's 60th birthday

John Hegley, Daljt Nagra and others pay tribute to a treasured resource

The Poetry Library

I am descended from another clime
  yet you have made me.
I pray you care for one who streams his lines
  through your canon grooves,
    one who suffers
      the bind.

Daljit Nagra

From a Grateful Borrower by John Hegley

I'm going down the South Bank
to the bank of books and verse
and poetry. I'm bringing back my library books
they are late
and I celebrate
for in this fine resource
you pay no fine
for slender spine, or any other item, overdue.
I know this is not a concession to be taken advantage of.
I just forgot and I do
know that you can renew titles over the telephone.
What a place!
HUNDREDS of the most recent issues on the racks in the
                          Magazine zone.
You are never alone in the Poetry Library.
If you have a query they can be so helpful at the desk.

   'I'm sorry to ask
   but I'm looking for a poem by someone called
   … sorry I've forgotten their name
   but, it's about …
   It's for a birthday party
   Would you like a Smartie?
   Do you like my mask?'
John Hegley

Once There a Was a Room

on the fifth floor
where poets used to come and speak
their poems to an audience.
It went in favour of glass lift.
But I'm sixty now and I want it back,
I want the feel the syntax on the page
playing in my middle ear.
I want to hear those plosives
as in 'Plough'
and 'Clapham Common'.
I want to hear what
the Old Crusader has to say
when his hand is shaken
by the young flaneurs.
I want to hear a punter sigh
at the plainsong of everyday love-life
in kitchens and bathrooms
and I want to hear those convoluted little
stories poets tell to introduce
their poems.

Annie Freud

More poems

Poetry Library celebrates 60th birthday

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