Penguin European poetry

It has taken a lifetime
To obtain nearly all
Of the Penguin Modern
European Poets series

I started in 1970
Buying one or two
From Hudson’s bookshop
In Birmingham
Pesoa, Rilke, Blok

With their portraits
In photo or sketch
On the front cover
They are the shadows
That walk in foreign languages

There are a few left
That I have not read
That by now
Penguin has forgotten

I used to read the list of poets
Printed on the back cover
With hunger
Will I ever get to read
All of them

The list is now like
A memorial
To those fallen
In battle

My latest acquisition
In penguin
Modern European poetry
Is Guillivac, selected poems
Published 1974

These books of poems
The road behind
Like the dead bodies of friends

Not forgetting
The translators
A calibre of men
As rare as the Greek heroes
That fell at the wall of Troy

Stamped inside
On the title page
In big bold lettering
This book belongs
To the British
Broadcasting corporation
It’s all right for some

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s