Friday, 8 March 2013

Surreally Forgotten


The young man in the photograph above is a fresh-faced Philip O'Connor. Perhaps the most unsung of all the Bristish Surrealist poets. Mates with Quentin Crisp, published by Faber his work is well worth tracking down - as the example below proves:

POEMThe clock ticks on ; the wild-fingered hand
of a dark wet evening strokes the face
and combs the hair out-of-doors,
and traffic and expressions are woof and warp
of a cruelly-clear understanding. The people drag a train of
ancient monsters,
cumbrous shadows with banners
of factory hours and weekly wage. Sirens of contempt
whistle in the incidental phrase
and the metre of a force prepared to impel a change
gives words the white outline of chairs seen in fainting,
here we have a room of drastic furniture waiting the remover's
(and he comes solemn as two girders
in a bridge, intent as the dead timber floating under it.)
No foaming running cloud of the night
can disengage hysteria locked in the pounding heart
slowly rejoining the serene wide-open eye.
Fist published in New Verse magazine No.28 Jan 1938

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