Last night saw us at Chapter, Cardiff, with Tony Curtis and Cynan Jones for November’s First Thursday event, and today we are featuring one of the new poems Tony read on the night – for all of you who missed his entertaining performance.
Tony Curtis has been writing poetry for fifty years, and his new collection, From the Fortunate Isles: New and Selected Poems contains poems from ten of his published collections, as well as fifty pages of new poems. This is a poet whose themes and variations remain consistent: a deep affection for his roots in West Wales, tender attachments to family, a profound interest in the wars of the last century, and an abiding fascination for all art forms, particularly painting and poetry.
Seamus on the Tube
Looking away, not looking away –
The happenstance of what may change everything;
Those standing commuters moving off at Charing Cross
For the Bakerloo Line and then your eyes lifting
Above those seated opposite, as one does, to read
Between faster Broadband and Las Vegas –
“Where your accent is an aphrodisiac,” it says,
And where “what happens here, stays here,”
The Railway Children where in the white cups
Of the telegraph wires a young boy knows
That words are carried in the shiny pouches of raindrops.
Like this poem carried for you in the red and white Tube
On the Northern Line in cold January’s real freeze;
Snow is promised in the suburbs so everyone’s scarved
Against the weather. Words taking you back to the fifties
And his boyhood summers before everything changed.
Reaching Warren Street, you’ve read it
Four or five times, absorbed the innocent wisdom
And sense of the thing. Those people opposite
See a crazy old man mouthing words, appearing to sing.
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