From The First Book of Odes


The day being Whitsun we had pigeon for dinner;

but Richmond in the pitted river saw

mudmirrored mackintosh, a wet southwest

wiped and smeared dampness over Twickenham.


Pools on the bustop’s buttoned tarpaulin.

Wimbledon, Wandsworth, Clapham, the Oval.  ‘Lo,

Westminster Palace where the asses jaw!’


Endless disappointed buckshee-hunt!

Suburb and city giftless garden and street,

and the sky alight of an evening stubborn

and mute by day and never rei novae

inter rudes artium homines.

                          Never a spark of sedition

amongst the uneducated workingmen.


Basil Bunting


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