One thing leads to another. It seems that I am on my inadvertent way to compiling an anthology of roof poems -- or, to be more specific, roofs-after-rain poems. It started with "The sky stops crying and in a sudden smile/Of childish sunshine the rain steams on the roofs" from Stanley Cook's "Second Marriage," which was followed by "our sky-blue slates are steaming in the sun" from "Kinsale" by Derek Mahon.
And now, here is a city scene from Douglas Dunn in which the rain has once again passed, leaving -- not steaming -- but shining roofs. The Terry Street of the poem is the Terry Street of Hull -- home of Philip Larkin and Andrew Marvell, Member of Parliament from Hull.
On Roofs of Terry Street
Television aerials, Chinese characters
In the lower sky, wave gently in the smoke.
Nest-building sparrows peck at moss,
Urban flora and fauna, soft, unscrupulous.
Rain drying on the slates shines sometimes.
A builder is repairing someone's leaking roof.
He kneels upright to rest his back.
His trowel catches the light and becomes precious.
Douglas Dunn, Terry Street (1969).