A Huge and Birdless Silence
We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot; we will sing of the multi-coloured, polyphonic tides of revolution in the modern capitals…
—Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, “The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism” (1909)
…and I believe we did…sort of.
Well…another year ends and we’re still here. It’ll be 2 years in January, which is the equivalent of 2 centuries in interwebz-time. We’re all a bit older, possibly a bit wiser [Nah-Ed.], but not, I think, any closer to running out of things to talk about. So, thanks for the lulz (as today’s exciting yoofs might say), the insights and the absorbing conversations.
I wish you all an enjoyable shopping and gorging season [He means Christmas-Ed.] and a happy new year and I’ll leave you with this seasonal pick-me-up from that madcap scamp, Philip Larkin:
Always too eager for the future, we
Pick up bad habits of expectancy.
Something is always approaching; every day
‘Till then’ we say,
Watching from a bluff the tiny, clear
Sparkling armada of promises draw near.
How slow they are! And how much time they waste,
Refusing to make haste!
Yet still they leave us holding wretched stalks
Of disappointment, for, though nothing balks
Each big approach, leaning with brasswork prinked,
Each rope distinct,
Flagged, and the figurehead with golden tits
Arching our way, it never anchors; it’s
No sooner present than it turns to past.
Right to the last
We think each one will heave to and unload
All good into our lives, all we are owed
For waiting so devoutly and so long.
But we are wrong:
Only one ship is seeking us, a black-
Sailed unfamiliar, towing at her back
A huge and birdless silence. In her wake
No waters breed or break.
—Philip Larkin (1951)
Seasonal poems, would, of course, be welcome.