Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday's poems: Randolph Stow and "the footprints of the recently departed

"There are two sensations, above all, that the land offers me: the sense of size, and the sense of the past . . . In the cities one is fenced in by the personalities of others"
Randolph Stow.

The writer Randolph Stow is best known for his novels set in Western Australian including To the Islands, The Merry Go Round in the Sea and The Suburbs of Hell.

However, it is his poetry I appreciate.
from The Lands Meaning:
"And the question (applauded, derided) falls like dust
on veranda and bar; and in pauses when thinking ceases,
the footprints of the recently departed
march to the mind's horizons, and endure".


And indeed I shall anchor, one day—some summer morning
of sunflowers and bougainvillaea and arid wind—
and smoking a black cigar, one hand on the mast,
turn, and unlade my eyes of all their cargo;
and the parrot will speed from my shoulder, and white yachts glide
welcoming out from the shore on the turquoise tide.
And when they ask me where I have been, I shall say
I do not remember.
And when they ask me what I have seen, I shall say
I remember nothing.
And if they should ever tempt me to speak again,
I shall smile, and refrain.
copyright Randolph Stow

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