|The carousel at Nantasket Beach now on the National Register|
I don't know anything about Paul Farley other than what I read here at Poetry Daily. I do know that I admire this poem and that he makes a convincing argument on the power of the imagination. My mind went straight back to Paragon Park which was located in Hull, Massachusetts. I'm really happy to learn that the carousel ride is still in existence and has been preserved for the future imaginations of children like me who believed those horses had minds of their own. Thank you, Paul Farley for this interlude on a Sunday night with the press of the college week weighing upon me. Thank you!
Forget all of that end-of-the-pier
palm-reading stuff. Picture a seaside town
in your head. Start from its salt-wrack-rotten smells
and raise the lid of the world to change the light,
then go as far as you want: the ornament
of a promenade, the brilliant greys of gulls,
the weak grip of a crane in the arcades
you've built, ballrooms to come alive at night,
then a million-starling roost, an opulent
crumbling like cake icing ...
Now, bring it down
in the kind of fire that flows along ceilings,
that knows the spectral blues; that always starts
in donut fryers or boardwalk kindling
in the dead hour before dawn, that leaves pilings
marooned by mindless tides, that sends a plume
of black smoke high enough to stain the halls
of clouds. Now look around your tiny room
and tell me that you haven't got the power.
The Dark Film