Thursday, October 05, 2006

National Poetry Day

Despite what I said yesterday, I am afraid my choice still involves death. But at least it is a lighter (though still poignant) take on the subject.

I first came across this poem almost 30 years ago when I had a Saturday job in a secondhand bookshop and have always remembered it with affection.

The Postilion Has Been Struck By Lightning

He was the best postilion
I ever had. That summer in Europe
Came and went
In striding thunder-rain.
His tasselled shoulders bore up
More bad days than he could count
Till he entered his last storm in the mountains.

You to whom a postilion
Means only a cocked hat in a museum
Or a light
Anecdote, pity this one
Burnt at milord’s expense far from home
Having seen every sight
But never anyone struck by lightning.

Patricia Beer

No comments: