"Murray is the best kind of literary biographer" – The Financial Times.
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Winner of the 2015 Basil Bunting Award for poetry

Thursday, 12 July 2007

A Poem for Today

If you like this poem and wish to know more about the published collection from which it came let me know.


These are the wide, incredulous eyes of Harpo Marx,
handed a plate which will soon be filled
with the tangled cordage of fresh spaghetti.

They speak of astonishment at such reversals
when the out-of-luck come into their own
and the least they can do is eat up.

The post-prandial concert is inevitable.
They are singing after supper their only song:
We have only our talent and our hunger to give you;

We are the century's displaced, the scuttling survivors
who seem to travel light but whose baggage
is weightier than any braced trunk deep in the hold.


Nicholas Murray said...

OK it's mine of course! You can obtain the collection from which it came, The Narrators, directly from Rack Press, The Rack, Kinnerton, Presteigne, Powys LD8 2PF. Send a cheque for £6 (inc P&P) made out to Rack Press.

Jean Woollard said...

I really enjoyed this poem. I recently saw a very good film, Golden Door, about poor Sicilian immigrants to the USA in the early 1900s. The wide-eyed wonder of the dispossessed when faced with the prospect of a square meal resonated with similar images of wonderment in the film, eg when we are invited by the filmmaker to view the skyline of New York through the eyes of the hopeful travellers awaiting clearance in Ellis Island.

Nicholas Murray said...

I will look out for that film. I found visiting Ellis island a few years ago a fascinating experience. All that hope and expectation!