A Poem for a Thursday #67

Photo by Antonino Visalli on Unsplash


U. A. Fanthorpe was a British poet who published nine volumes of poetry during her lifetime. She taught at Cheltenham Ladies College for sixteen years and then left to work as a clerk and receptionist at a psychiatric hospital. She said:

Poetry is important because it reaches the places that other kinds of writing can't reach. I became aware of this myself when I worked as a receptionist in a hospital, and saw how much the doctors and nurses had to leave out of the queerness and sadnesses of the patients because they were confined to prose... Poetry has all the voices--wit, sincerity, pastiche, tragedy, and delight and most importantly it's with us from the start of our lives to the end:  at the start of our lives, with lullabies and mothers crooning to babies, at the end of our life, with hymns over the grave. 


 There is a kind of love called maintenance,
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

Which checks the insurance, and doesn't forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes, which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains, 
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living; which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing 
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.

Atlas
U. A. Fanthorpe

Reese shared a Vikram Seth poem this week.

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