Friday, 15 February 2019

Undying Art

Poetry was never dying:
always alive, it lay sleeping
in doorways, stepped over
by people looking somewhere else.

Long before
the ether or the internet,
in a dark place where only stars
shine a light, used to the semi-darkness,
unrhyming rhymes’ cack-handed cadences
cracked like whips, like solar flares or supernovas,
and told the stories of endings and beginnings
to unsuspecting wanderers sitting under
a plaster sky and a dome of light.

Today’s hot property
is electronically shared, the latest trend,
a trajectory, an orbit, an ellipse, goes around,
comes around, like some Kohoutec, or Hale-Bopp,
a comet more unpredictable than Halley,
somewhere in the deep black, dormant, waiting,
through its vast pass through the Oort cloud,
steadily rekindling life in the rising solar wind
till its coma sheaths out like Berenice’s hair
returning beauty to the sky.

In one slingshot moment,
all the poetry of yesterday, long thought dead,
tells us to remember, neither rhyme nor reason
is perpetually bereft, never dead, only asleep,
while daylight deserts it for a time
and night in the cold absolute zero
holds in abeyance the silent beat
of everything there ever was.
© BH, 2019

A Facebook post about poetry ‘a dying art’ revived by Instagram poets sparked this. I posted these words on the Poetry24 page.  Only slightly modified since the 31st January.

My take is that the dying art never was dying, only sleeping. Reminded me of my years reading poems in the dark in Aberdeen Planetarium, in the 19990s. The unpredictable cycles of cometary orbits came to mind. Along with audiences you can’t see, projected skies and plaster domes.

Link to news item -

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