An image of my grandmother
her head appearing upside-down upon a cloud
the cloud transfixed on the steeple
of a deserted railway-station
far away

An image of an aqueduct
with a dead crow hanging from the first arch
a modern-style chair from the second
a fir-tree lodged in the third
and the whole scene sprinkled with snow

An image of a piano-tuner
with a basket of prawns on his shoulder
and a firescreen under his arm
his moustache made of clay-clotted twigs
and his cheeks daubed with wine

An image of an aeroplane
the propellor is rashers of bacon
the wings are of reinforced lard
the tail is made of paper-clips
the pilot is a wasp

An image of the painter
with his left hand in a bucket
and his right hand stroking a cat
as he lies in bed
with a stone beneath his head

And all these images
and many others
are arranged like waxworks
in model bird-cages
about six inches high.


About David Gascoyne


David Gascoyne was born in 1916 in Harrow, Middlesex, and educated at Salisbury Cathedral School and the Regent Street Polytechnic, London. His first collection of poetry, 'Roman Balcony and Other Poems' was published when he was sixteen, and in 1933 Cobden-Sanderson brought out his novel 'Opening Day'. Both books are remarkable achievements for an adolescent, and they were followed by the equally striking poetry collections 'Man's Life Is This Meat' (1936) and 'Hoelderlin's Madness' (1938), which established his reputation as one of the most original voices of the 1930s. Gascoyne was among the earliest champions of Surrealism: in 1935 his... Read more...

Poet of the day

Son of Thomas Godfrey (1704–1749), a Philadelphia glazier and member of Benjamin Franklin’s Junto Club, Godfrey produced some significant work in his short life.
Well known in literary circles in Philadelphia, he was a close friend of the poet Nathaniel Evans and the college provost William Smith. In 1758...
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Poem of the day


First winter rain--
even the monkey
seems to want a raincoat.

Translated by Robert Hass


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