God kicks our backsides

It’s been a while since we had any poetry on The Bioscope. While browsing through the fine Old Poetry site, I came across by A.S.J. Tessimond (1902-1962), a British Imagist poet whose name, I’m ashamed to say, I’d not come across before now. This poem of his, entitled ‘Chaplin’, dates from 1934. It rather appeals to me:

The sun, a heavy spider, spins in the thirsty sky.
The wind hides under cactus leaves, in doorway corners. Only the wry

Small shadow accompanies Hamlet-Petrouchka’s march – the slight
Wry sniggering shadow in front of the morning, turning at noon, behind towards night.

The plumed cavalcade has passed to tomorrow, is lost again;
But the wisecrack-mask, the quick-flick-fanfare of the cane remain.

Diminuendo of footsteps even is done:
Only remain, Don Quixote, hat, cane, smile and sun.

Goliaths fall to our sling, but craftier fates than these
Lie ambushed – malice of open manholes, strings in the dark and falling trees.

God kicks our backsides, scatters peel on the smoothest stair;
And towering centaurs steal the tulip lips, the aureoled hair,

While we, craned from the gallery, throw our cardboard flowers
And our feet jerk to tunes not played for ours.

Not just Chaplin as beleaguered everyman, but Chaplin as Don Quixote, the person we all might actually be but would never want to be. Now that I like (though it’s a conceit that has occured to others). There are more of Tessimond’s poems on The Filter^ blog.

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