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The house that poets built

Come with me to Poets’ Corner

Let’s visit the house at the end of the block.

Through the dooryard where the lilacs last bloom’d,

We’ll take the primrose path around the border

past a red wheel/barrow/glazed with rain/water.

Knock, knock, knock.

We’ll hale in at the halles door

Like the Green Knight in days of yore.

In the parlour, slowly reading

Old and grey and full of sleep.

Maud is nodding by the fire.

And each slow dusk she’ll inspire

a drawing-down of blinds.

The cupboards in the kitchen are bare.

I don’t dare

To eat a peach there.

Nor are there plums in the icebox.

So up we go, up the winding stair

pausing briefly half way up

to meet a man who isn’t there.

All the bedrooms are overbrimming –

those of poets are always so

at least

in their minds’ eye, Horatio.

We’ll leave them to their azure-lidded sleep

even though Mr Donne

is having trouble with the unruly sunne.

He got those windowes and curtaines cheap.

The airy garret is their favourite room. Perhaps

it’s the thought of high windows.

When daylight comes, comes in the light,

Yonder, where the light is breaking.

But westward look the land is bright.

Let’s rest, up here at the building’s height

And warm ourselves below the hot tin roof

We can lie here in a riot of sunlight

watching the day break and the clouds flying.

Everything is going to be all right.


what’s that? Another knock, knock, knock?

Oh no, it’s the visitor from Por l




© Laura Parker

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