Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I've always found the shipping news to be soothing -- echoing from the radio in my father's bedroom in the middle of the night -- as is illustrated in this beautiful poem by Carol Ann Duffy (from New Selected Poems 1984-2004):
Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.
Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.
Darkness outside. Inside the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre*.
-- Carol Ann Duffy
*Finesterre has been replaced by the less interesting-sounding Fitzroy. More here.