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A City Remembered Analysis

Author: Poetry of Vernon Scannell Type: Poetry Views: 211

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From "Ten Contemporary Poets" compiled and edited by Maurice Wollman, Harrap 1963Unlovely city, to which few tourists come

With squinting cameras and alien hats;

Left under a cloud by those who love the sun

And can afford to marry – a cloud of bits

Of soot more myriad than gnats, a cloud

Of smoke and rain, an insubstantial threat

Whose colour is the pigment of long wrath,

I think of you, surprised to find my blood

Warmed by a wry desire, a kind of love.

I see the trams, like galleons at night,

Go rocking with their golden cargo down

The iron hills; then hearing that bold din

My other senses frolic at a fête

Of phantom guests – the smells of fish and chips,

Laborious smoke, stale beer and autumn gusts,

The whispering shadows and the winking hips,

The crack of frosty whips, brief summer"s dust.

And in that city through a forked November

Love, like a Catherine-wheel, delighted me

And when it sputtered out, hung charred and sombre,

The city flavoured my delicious misery.

And so I guess that any landscape"s beauty

Is fathered by associative joys

Held in a shared, historic memory,

For beauty is the shape of our desires.

My northern city, then, by many called

Ugly or worse, much like an aged nurse

Tender yet stern who taught one how to walk,

Is dear to me, and it will always have

A desolate enchantment that I"ll love.


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