Monday, 14 October 2013

Poem of the week


I note that a national daily has selected a poem entitled 'Nicolson Square' as its focus of the week.  The poem is by the Edinburgh Makar Ron Butlin (above, a local resident in Newington).

Here is the link to the article, with analysis in the comments below the article.  The 453 comments (at the last count) give some in depth literary and social assessment of the poem and the local circumstances it describes.

And here is the poem.

Nicolson Square

The girl's left hand keeps her coat shut, the other's
empty. She's standing in the middle of the street,
the traffic breaking to a stop around her.
Hardly sixteen - bleached hair, bleached skin, fear.


The man she's with – badly healing cuts and anger
clenched into a face, pressed-in bruises
where the eyes should be.
She's telling him she's sorry, and being sworn at.


Nearby, a parliament of two men and a woman sits arguing
upon the pavement; they shout at her to grow up,
can't she? A taxi horn blares.
She doesn't move.


I drop my 50p into the parliamentary cup, and walk past.
Behind me, the street shuts like a book, the place marked
just at the point where he hits her
in the mouth.


When I'm back this evening, the story will have moved on.
No girl, no man and no parliament – only you and I
and everyone else, and the street growing darker around us
as the sun abandons it.

I like to keep the posts varied! 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

And having read it-I too move on from this too prosaic verse-Ron knows this; he did not select it for public reading just a passing thought.

Tom

Anonymous said...

there is a rogue apostrophe in your text!

Cameron Rose said...

Rogue corrected, thanks

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