August 9th, 2013

hasui hirakawa morning

'They're changing guards at Buckingham Palace'

I have here a book, Ode to London, subtitled 'Poems to Celebrate the City.' The editor says, 'As this is an Ode to London I have unashamedly omitted any poems that I felt did not flatter the city'. She then includes Blake's 'I wander thro' each charter'd street.' Go figure. Go figure also that the Blake is the best poem in the book. Dryden and Dunbar's offerings are tedious (are they talking about a real city?); even Kipling, though welcome, is oddly subdued. We won't mention Byron or Auden. I don't know what's needed to celebrate London but it isn't this. Or Betjeman being annoying either:
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Frankly nothing captures London better for me than 221B, or possibly TS Eliot-- though I believe the early poems were about St Louis, or maybe Boston?

But then, happily, there's this poem, to remind me that I can never see some things as others have seen them because-- well, because.
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