Sunday, May 6, 2012

New Poet from Liverpool (new to me, anyway)

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!

The Power

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


  1. And thank you, Susan, for sharing this gem. I'm just discovering your work, your deliciously appropriate last name. You've transformed this cliffhanger hospital-surgery-will-he-walk-again week.
    Siham Karami

  2. Dear Siham,
    Thank you for making my morning with your message. Getting notes from strangers is my favorite part of writing this blog. What a joy to share poems with the universe.

    Very best of luck with the surgery; I will be thinking good things for you!

    All best wishes,