Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Saturday Poem

Yesterday there was no chance of writing a post, not because of a lack of energy (although I was tired, I still tried to sit down with the computer at the end of the day), but because my computer had run out of power and I lost my adaptor. So I am sorry, but please know that I meant to post and had a good many things to post about. I'm going to do my best to recreate what that post might have been here.

Yesterday I saw a poet named John Glenday as part of the Golden Hour who read a beautiful poem about birds called "Be Swift." When I told him I had a friend who I thought would really love the poem because he loves birds, John really kindly gave me the poem he'd been reading from and made an inscription for my friend. Sadly, in all the madness of last night's change overs, the poem has been temporarily misplaced, but luckily not before I copied it out so that I can email it to the recipient.

In the meantime, because I didn't get his permission to publish the poem here, I thought it would be nice to include a poem of his that was recently published on the Guardian. It's Friday and the poem is called The Saturday Poem, but the Edinburgh Festival is often one step ahead of itself anyway, so it seems appropriate.

Tonight is the Daniel Kitson benefit. I will post at the end of the night/ at about 5 in the morning, and when I write that post, I will know that I am a hero legend who really does do their best to post every day. (Extenuating adaptor type circumstances exempt.)

The Saturday Poem
by John Glenday

(the can opener was invented

forty-eight years after the tin can)

When you asked me for a love poem,

(another love poem) my thoughts

were immediately drawn to the early days

of the food canning industry –

all those strangely familiar trade-names from childhood:

Del Monte, Green Giant, Fray Bentos, Heinz.

I thought of Franklin and his poisoned men

drifting quietly northwest by north

towards the scooped shale of their graves

and I thought of the first tin of cling peaches

glowing on a dusty pantry shelf

like yet-to-be-discovered radium –

the very first tin of cling peaches

in the world, and for half a century

my fingers reaching out to it.

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