I have trouble with poetry. It's the foundation of what I do as a lyricist, yet so often when I try to read poetry, whether classic or contemporary, I just can't connect with it. The language often comes accross to me as ethereal, pretentious and removed from daily experience. Maybe it's my problem, I don't know. But I'm always happy to find a poem that I can connect with on first reading.
So, on the occassion of a freakish cold snap that started out yesterday morning as rain and ended up as a late-October snowstorm that lasted all day, as if Fall has been cancelled this year, I share with you a poem by T.S. Eliot that I stumbled upon in a book this morning.
It may be set in Boston where he went to school or it may be set in London where he was living at the time this piece was published. No matter, it feels like a city anywhere I suppose.
The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney pots,
And at a corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.