What is poetry town?

Poetry Town began in 2015 with a weekly poem displayed in the window of Kirkdale Bookshop. Following overwhelmingly positive responses from customers we have decided to partner with Sydenham Arts to build on the idea and fill Sydenham with poetry­ not just by famous poets but by local people, both young and old.
 
Pleasures 19/04/2017

First look from morning’s window The rediscovered book Fascinated faces Snow, the change of the seasons The newspaper The dog Dialectics Showering, swimming Old music Comfortable shoes Comprehension…

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Requiem for a Nest 12/04/2017

the winged thang built her dream palace amid the fine green eyes of a sheltering bough she did not know it was urban turf disguised as serenely delusionally…

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The Spring 05/04/2017

Spring has returned! Everything has returned! The earth, just like a schoolgirl, memorizes Poems, so many poems. … Look, she has learned So many famous poems, she has…

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In Memory of W. B. Yeats (final section) 29/03/2017

Let the Irish vessel lie Emptied of its poetry. In the nightmare of the dark All the dogs of Europe bark, And the living nations wait, Each sequestered…

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The Eyes of My Regret 22/03/2017

Always at dusk, the same tearless experience, The same dragging of feet up the same well-worn path To the same well-worn rock; The same crimson or gold dropping…

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The house was quiet and the world was calm 15/03/2017

The house was quiet and the world was calm. The reader became the book; and summer night   Was like the conscious being of the book. The house…

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Two Women 08/03/2017

I know two women, and one is chaste And cold as the snows on a winters waste, Stainless ever I act and thought (As a man, born dumb,…

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To Keep a True Lent 01/03/2017

Is this a fast, to keep                 The larder lean ?                              And clean  From fat of veals and sheep ?  Is it to quit the dish                  Of flesh, yet still …

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I Build an Orange Church 22/02/2017

I build an orange church and put inside it a little orange minister in a pulpit that’s dandelion yellow. I make a ceiling of intensest blue. The seats…

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Invitation to Love 15/02/2017

Come when the nights are bright with stars Or come when the moon is mellow;  Come when the sun his golden bars  Drops on the hay-field yellow.  Come…

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Sonnet 43 08/02/2017

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of…

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Mirror in February 02/02/2017

Mirror in February, by Thomas Kinsella (b. 1928) The day dawns, with scent of must and rain, Of opened soil, dark trees, dry bedroom air. Under the fading…

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Afternoon Tea 25/01/2017

Afternoon Tea, by Charlotte Mew (1869 – 1928)   Please you, excuse me, good five-o’clock people, I’ve lost my last hatful of words, And my heart’s in the…

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I Look at the World 18/01/2017

I look at the world From awakening eyes in a black face— And this is what I see: This fenced-off narrow space Assigned to me. I look then…

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I Passed by His Garden 11/01/2017

I passed by his garden, and marked with one eye, How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie; The Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,…

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New Year’s Day 04/01/2017

New Year’s Day— Everything is in blossom! I feel about average.

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In Memoriam 21/12/2016

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light: The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him…

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Christmas Eve: My Mother Dressing 14/12/2016

My mother was not impressed with her beauty; once a year she put it on like a costume, plaited her black hair, slick as cornsilk, down past her…

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The List of Famous Hats 07/12/2016

Napoleon’s hat is an obvious choice I guess to list as a famous hat, but that’s not the hat I have in mind. That was his hat for…

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Frogs Eat Butterflies. Snakes Eat Frogs. Hogs Eat Snakes. Men Eat Hogs. 30/11/2016

It is true that the rivers went nosing like swine, Tugging at banks, until they seemed Bland belly-sounds in somnolent troughs, That the air was heavy with the…

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Hot Cake 23/11/2016

Winter has come; fierce is the cold; In the sharp morning air new-risen we meet. Rheum freezes in the nose; Frost hangs about the chin. For hollow bellies,…

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The Bean Eaters 16/11/2016

They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair. Dinner is a casual affair. Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood, Tin flatware. Two who are Mostly Good….

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The Second Coming 09/11/2016

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The…

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Shinto 02/11/2016

When sorrow lays us low For a second we are saved By humble windfalls Of mindfulness or memory: The taste of a fruit, the taste of water, That…

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Après le Bain 28/10/2016

I gotta buy me a new girdle. (I’ll buy you one) O.K. (I wish you’d wig- gle that way for me, I’d be a happy man) I GOTTA…

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The Persian 19/10/2016

The gas fire Seemed quite a friend Such a funny little humming noise it made And it had a name too, carved on it you know, “The Persian”….

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Report from the Grass Roots 12/10/2016

I am a little ant. A quiet falls upon the paths and the great evening starts to darken in the woods. All the sensible old wood-ants must be…

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Ulysses 05/10/2016

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail; There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners, Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me— That…

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Drinking Alone by Moonlight 28/09/2016

花間一壺酒。   A cup of wine, under the flowering trees; 獨酌無相親。   I drink alone, for no friend is near. 舉杯邀明月。   Raising my cup I beckon the bright moon, 對影成三人。   For he, with my…

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Say that the Gift Was Given 21/09/2016

Say that the gift was given long ago- the little cat that by the roadside cried so piteously till lifted up and saved and that was love; say…

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Silence 31/08/2016

My father used to say, “Superior people never make long visits, have to be shown Longfellow’s grave or the glass flowers at Harvard. Self-reliant like the cat— that…

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Business Men 24/08/2016

Business men boast of their skill and cunning But in philosophy they are like little children. Bragging to each other of successful depredations They neglect to consider the…

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The Pine Forest 17/08/2016

Let us go now into the forest. Trees will pass by your face, and I will stop and offer you to them, but they cannot bend down. The…

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On Astrild, Honing His Arrows 10/08/2016

The grindstone can never cut; but it sharpens arrows and axes; of similar nature is my beloved; she sharpens and hones great love in my breast; herself she…

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Electric Slide Boogie 03/08/2016

New Year’s Day 1:16 AM and my body is weary beyond time to withdraw and rest ample room allowed me in everyone’s head but community calls right over…

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An Anglo-Saxon Charm 27/07/2016

O wen, O wen, O little wennikins, Here shall you build not, here have no abode, But you shall northwards to the nearby hill, For there, O wretched…

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Jenny Yeo’s Bowl 20/07/2016

Your bowl is shimmering even in this grey afternoon light – Pulsing outward, seductive. Its perfect strength sending messages In music, In rhythm, It vibrates in silence sending…

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Ball 13/07/2016

A scroll of blue, an exquisite thought Moves upwards in a secret accord And the gentle pink explosion the shade filters Drowns a woman’s perfume in a heavy…

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Sonnet 07/07/2016

O shady vales, O fair enriched meads,
 O sacred woods, sweet fields, and rising mountains,
 O painted flowers, green herbs, where Flora treads, Refreshed by wanton winds and…

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Ghazal 29/06/2016

I want to tune in to the surface, beside the mayfly listen to how she holds her decorum on the skin of the pond. I want to sequester…

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Men Loved Wholly Beyond Wisdom 22/06/2016

Men loved wholly beyond wisdom Have the staff without the banner. Like a fire in a dry thicket Rising within women’s eyes Is the love men must return….

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On the Birth of his Son 08/06/2016

Families, when a child is born Want it to be intelligent. I, through intelligence Having wrecked my whole life, Only hope the baby will prove Ignorant and stupid….

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Osso Buco 01/06/2016

I love the sound of the bone against the plate and the fortress-like look of it lying before me in a moat of risotto, the meat soft as…

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The Absence 25/05/2016

It is this great absence that is like a presence, that compels me to address it without hope of a reply. It is a room I enter from…

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For George Seferis, Greek Poet 18/05/2016

I learnt his ancient language when at school And in long dreams could see the Parthenon And the Acropolis. His poems fill Me with the sense of sea,…

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Shadows 11/05/2016

Are they shadows that we see? And can shadows pleasure give? Pleasures only shadows be, Cast by bodies we conceive, And are made the things we deem In…

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Everyone Sang 03/05/2016

Everyone suddenly burst out singing; And I was filled with such delight As prisoned birds must find in freedom Winging wildly across the white Orchards and dark-green fields;…

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He For Whose Sake 27/04/2016

He for whose sake this ambiguity leads me by wilderness and quiet waters towards my dear resurrection, still maintains forever my watching breath stilled for his coming. My…

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Love After Love 20/04/2016

The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the other’s welcome,…

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Common Wish 13/04/2016

Love plays in the sun, Sickens, droops and is done. A spider’s thread Rolls up, binds up her dead.   There is too much For us between a…

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Phoenix 30/03/2016

Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled, made nothing? Are you willing to be made nothing? dipped into oblivion? If not, you will never really change….

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A Miracle for Breakfast 23/03/2016

At six o’clock we were waiting for coffee, waiting for coffee and the charitable crumb that was going to be served from a certain balcony – like kings…

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Spring, the Sweet Spring 16/03/2016

Spring, the sweet spring, is the year’s pleasant king, Them blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring, Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:…

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Woman Ironing 09/03/2016

I thought I knew what was coming when he said, He wanted to do my likeness at the ironing. I live in the city, people tell you things….

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On his Baldness 02/03/2016

At dawn I sighed to see my hairs fall; At dusk I sighed to see my hairs fall. For I dreaded the time when the last lock should…

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For The Anniversary Of John Keats’ Death 23/02/2016

At midnight when the moonlit cypress trees Have woven round his grave a magic shade, Still weeping the unfinished hymn he made, There moves fresh Maia like a…

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Candles 17/02/2016

The days of the future stand in front of us Like a line of candles all alight—- Golden and warm and lively little candles. The days that are…

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The Indian Serenade 10/02/2016

   I arise from dreams of thee In the first sweet sleep of night, When the winds are breathing low, And the stars are shining bright: I arise from…

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The Time of Poetry Has Come 02/02/2016

The time of Poetry has come I feel it within myself Somehow waiting to be said Worlds are hidden And feel ready to come into being- The time…

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