Image by Caroline Forbes

Poem introduction

This poem was written on a day of incredible heat. The reference to the symphony at the end of the poem goes back to the Soviet era, when music was broadcast in public squares.

Allington Cross

Allington Cross

I keep thinking how we wait all year
and possibly longer (because not every summer
contains such days) for such days.

Because when summer is at its very height
its poise is the pause of the church bell suspended
rim-up after its stroke, mouth open.

At Allington Cross the whole landscape
was a bell mouth open, ah, the luminous
untrammeled now of it, rim-up and poised:

And paused at the crossroads in the liquefying
high-sky heat I understood the composer
who cycled round and round the square

so as not to miss a note of the broadcast symphony.


First published in the TLS, 26 May 2006, © Helen Farish 2006, used by permission of the author.

Recordings

Helen Farish Reading from her Poems

1Look at These

2Auto Reply

3Feathered Coyote

4Under the Bridge

5Mount Mirtagh and Back

6In the Church of St. Joseph Prague

7Treasures

8Surgery

9The Accident

10Mesoplodon Pacificus

11Blindfold

12The Old King's Garden

13The Lighthouse of Nauset

14Picnic Spots

15Brathay

16Slater Bridge

17Custodian

18Allington Cross

19The Lorton Valley

20To Whiteside

21Odyssey

22Plum Island

23Kit

24Rue des Lions

25What Held Us There

26Programme

27Coffin Path Poem

2824th June 1955

29Newly Born Twins

30Recording

31China Dogs

32July

33The White Gate

34Manicure

35Airing

36My Father's Dressing Gown

37‘Grant Us Time to Read and Ponder'

38Outside the Baker's

39Resurrection

40Dad's Barn

41Posting

42Appellation

Books & cds by Helen Farish