The Friday Poem on 01/10/21
We snapped up Tim Relf’s poem ’Reading Banville’ for The Friday Poem. Relf’s obvious relish for obscure and esoteric words is delightful, and we love the way he first indulges this, to great effect, and then slams the brakes on and changes gear, encouraging us instead to find a way to be in the real world, to seek out the simpler and more elemental things, and perhaps enjoy a little more silence.
Cicatrice gets me googling,
as does horrent, minatory and coevals. Ditto deckle, flocculent and satyr. How
can I have got to 50 and not know so many words? How
can I have gone through this noisy, talking world with so much beyond me —
so much ignorance?
What might I have said, done, been
had I had this man’s vocabulary? But I’d only need it if I wanted to write about it —
the sea, say;
to explain how it makes me feel. And I have no desire to do that today.
Instead, I’ll go there: to the beach;
I’ll stand barefoot,
choose a pebble —
nothing out of the ordinary: one that’s egg-sized, brown, smooth
and hold it tightly.