Monday 28 August 2017

Motion (Imprint A Poem

Back in the summer of 1977 I wrote a poem called Imprint (Motion. It was supposed to be published in a British magazine which then folded, so it appeared in November 1977 in the Canadian magazine Moosehead Review. It was, I saw in retrospect, about the way I perceived changing and perhaps frightening relationships. But when I was looking at it this summer, I came across the manuscript of an earlier poem, out of which, or in reaction to which, it sprang.

Motion (Imprint was originally written in November 1976, when I was still in Montreal, then worked on over Christmas in Connecticut. I reworked it in 1982, in London, then apparently set it aside and forgot about it. I can see how Imprint (Motion, which I wrote the following summer, relates to it, but right now I much prefer this new older one, which seems more innocent and indeed hopeful. I did some revising of it this summer, including in South Dakota where somehow the imagery came clearer to me.

So here it is, published for the first time, in somewhat seriously different form from when it was written 40 years ago.

Motion (Imprint

The living are those
Whose chill breath we can see

When atmosphere conspires
To reveal their traces

Hands that froze find steamy
Mouths, hiding faces

Behind voices, emerging desires
Bide silent, bide invisibly

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