Saturday, May 28, 2011

No Escape, Part Nine: "Not Much Here But Grass And Daisies And A Gulley That Lazes Its Way To The Weir"

Norman Nicholson (1914-1987) lived in Millom, Cumbria, his entire life.  That fact may perhaps make him either uniquely qualified or uniquely unqualified to opine on the likelihood of happening upon the Ideal Place that calls to us from beyond the horizon.  I opt for the former.

     The Man from the Advertising Department

There's more to see
In the next field.
Not much here
But grass and daisies
And a gulley that lazes
Its way to the weir --
Oh there's much more to see
In the next field.

There are better folk
In the next street.
Nobody here
But much-of-a-muchness people:
The butcher, the blacksmith,
The auctioneer,
The man who mends the weathercock
When the lightning strikes the steeple --
But they're altogether a better class
In the next street.

There'll be more to do
In the next world.
Nothing here
But breathing fresh air,
Loving, shoving, moving around a bit,
Counting birthdays, forgetting them, giving
Your own little push to the spin of the earth;
It all amounts to
No more than living --
But by all accounts
There'll be more to do
And more to see
And VIP neighbours
In the next world.

Norman Nicholson, Collected Poems (Faber and Faber 1994).

             Allan Gwynne Jones, "Spring Evening, Froxfield" (1922)

4 comments:

S R Plant said...

“Loving, shoving, moving around a bit...” - Excellent!

(Interesting times here in France. In recent days it's occurred to the political élite Рdue to protests from the public Рthat DSK wasn't the only human being in the hotel room. This is off-topic so feel free to delete, it's just that you mentioned you were reading BHL...)

Stephen Pentz said...

Thanks for dropping by, S R Plant. I'm glad you like the poem.

Yes, it must be interesting to see the DSK scandal unfold from where you are -- especially, as you say, the attitude of the "elites." As I suggested in my prior comment, I found BHL's first article to be appalling, but perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised. (Of course, it is a media circus over here, and will be for quite some time.)

julie whitmore said...

Catching up on your always interesting posts.
I know a few whose outlook sadly matches the mindset of the narrator of this poem! Another stunning work of art in the painting by A.G. Jones.

Stephen Pentz said...

Ms. Whitmore: thank you for visiting and commenting again. Yes, the painting by Jones is nice, isn't it? His work deserves more attention, I think.

Thanks again.