Archives for posts with tag: city life

Kirchner 1913 Street, Berlin.jpg
Kirchner 1913 Street, Berlin“. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

John Keats wrote his famous ode ‘To Autumn‘ on the 19th of September 1819. This partially inspired my poem posted this time last year. (This year, we are enjoying a generous bolt of extended warmth. The colder snap is still to come.)

Autumn’s ripened harvest store” offers up the autumn harvest of a modern Northern metropolis. The season is one of sneezes, the onset of black coats and umbrellas, nights that close in earlier and the rise of comfort eating as the cold sets in.

When I first started posting on this blog, I wrote about the autumn memories from my undergraduate days. Soon afterwards I posted an early (lovely) poem which was also born during autumn. Those “brown beacons” on a stark tree struck me as I trudged the streets of a Polish town (where I worked in my twenties). Those beacons have remained with me ever since.

It is the city in autumn, without the associated glow of golden leaves or scattering seedpods, that today’s archive poem captures. Much of my current writing draws on my experience of London – its suburbs and centre.  In looking for an illustration, I hoped to find a scene of men on grey pavements, in black coats, holding up black umbrellas against dreary drizzle. Kirchner’s street scene is in parts too vibrant to fulfill these requirements. However, the people (like others in his city depictions) capture the strident anonymity of urban existence. I decided against cropping the image because the composition is so striking – and who knows, perhaps the woman in purple is the observing poet.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

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This is a companion poem to yesterday’s “the currency of sugar”. Written around the same time (original notes probably originated at the same sitting), it also explores the theme of consumables in human relationships, and our relationships with the consumables.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness 

in glasses: wine, cocktails, liqueur,
on plates as cake and biscuits
from two discarded plastic tubs,
a litre of ice-cream

Lonely is the currency of sugar.

I’ve eaten two squares of Lindt, 70% cocoa, as I prepare this post. My head’s throbbing lightly with the sugar rush. Depeche Mode is my soundtrack,

Can you feel a little love?
Dream on, dream on.

I’ve just finished a Skype call with my mum who lives on the other side of the world, as do both my siblings. I chatted with them via Facebook this morning.

Originally I had entitled scribblings of this poem “London lonely”, because there are many of us living in this city who are far from (some of) our family or friends. There are still many who come from this city, or have lived in this city for a long time, who are lonely. It fascinates me that in such a bustling mass of humanity, disengagement and marginality exists. In our loneliness many of us find solace, either alone or with others, in the currency of sugar.


As @BeadedQuill I tweet about my London life (much of which is most merry and sociable) and ex-pat interests, notably in arts and culture.
Visit BeadedQuill on Facebook.
I have two books of collected poems. Click on the titles to preview:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness