Wednesday, March 04, 2020


Where There Were Once Forests

C.H. Sisson (1914-2003), In the Trojan Ditch: Collected Poems & Selected Translations (1974; rpt. Cheadle: Carcanet Press, 1975), pp. (a very free version of Horace, Odes 2.15: Iam pauca aratro iugera regiae), pp. 226-227:
There will be nothing soon for the plough
But huge bulks everywhere. On all sides
      Wider than lakes, the city
      Lamp-standards drive out the elms,

Planes, beeches. Once it was fertile here.
Edges of violets circumscribed
      The grove; there was everywhere something for the
      Nostrils, but now there is nothing.

Where there were once forests a region of
Concrete. Until quite recently
      There were meadows at Westminster.
      The salmon leaped where Raleigh was beheaded.

Once there was only nature for ornament.
Then there was ornament and art flourished;
      Now there is only the South Bank
      And, of course, the Arts Council.

It was not laws but a less abstract
Technology made the turf spring.
      The churches in those days, you may
      Remember, were built of stone.


<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?