Poem introduction

From early on, from boyhood, I was haunted by chalk landscapes which I first saw from the back of my parents' car. Many years later I looked at paintings by Paul Nash who was also obviously haunted by the same and similar chalk landscapes. This poem is called 'Landscape of the Daylight Moon'.

Landscape of the Daylight Moon

Landscape of the Daylight Moon

I first saw it inland.
Suddenly, round white sides
Rose through the thin grass
And for an instant, in the heat,
It was dazzling; but afterwards
I thought mainly of darkness,
Imagining the relics of an original
Sea under the chalk, with fishes
Beneath the fields. Later,
Everywhere upon its surface
I saw the life of the dead;
Circle within circle of earthen
Shells, and in retraced curves
Like finger marks in pale sand,

The print of a primaeval lover.
Once, climbing a dusty track,
I found a sunshaped urchin,
With the sun's rays, white
With the dusts of the moon.
Fetish, flesh become stone,
I keep it near me. It is
A mouth on darkness, the one
Inexhaustible source of re-creation.


From Cut of the Light: Poems 1965-2005, (Enitharmon Press, 2006), copyright © Jeremy Hooker 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Jeremy Hooker

Jeremy Hooker Downloads

1Landscape of the Daylight Moon

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2Matrix

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3Prospect Of Boldre Church

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4Gull On A Post

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5From Englishman's Road

6Curlew

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7At Ovington

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8Steps

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9Red King's Dream

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10Black on Gold

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11A new love poem

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12In praise of windmills

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13Westerbork

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14Bethlehem

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15From Earth Song Cycle: Written in clay

16'That trees are men walking'

17From Seven Songs: Cyane

18From Seven Songs: Groundless She Walks

19Not Like Icarus

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20For A Woman Who Said She Could Fall In Love With A Boat

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21Sections from Arnolds Wood

22Strawberry Field

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Books by Jeremy Hooker