Life Is a Walk Across a Field

Life is a Walk Across a Field

This is the opposite of the Russian proverb, Life is not a walk across a field, which is the last line of Boris Pasternak's poem Hamlet.

Life is a walk across a field
sometimes a golden dreamdrift of polished petals
and daisies bouncing among the hummocks of moss
which guide an infant river sometimes over squashed grass
sometimes under the spongey turf but sometimes

the tickling green surface breaks apart underfoot
and the mouth of the ground gapes
and the bogdragon swallows down your shins
your hips your armpits your chin your -

Life is a walk across a field
and should you find a milkmaid in one hollow
with a jug of cider and breasts like summer
from behind the spectacular oak will steam
the minotaur, half farmer and half bull
guffawing as his horns impale you both oh yes

Life is a walk across a field
of buttercups and landmines...


from All Shook Up - Poems 1996-2000 (Bloodaxe, 2000), copyright © Adrian Mitchell 2000, used by permission of the author

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Recordings

Adrian Mitchell

Adrian Mitchell Reading from his Poems

1A Flying Song

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2Icarus Schmicarus

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3My Mother and Father or Why I Began to Hate War

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4Remember Suez?

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5Veteran with a Head Wound

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6The Dust

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7Nostalgia - Now Threepence Off

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8Fifteen Million Plastic Bags

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9Song about Mary

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10Elephant Eternity

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11A Year Passes, as Years Do

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12Life Is A Walk Across A Field

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13My Friend the Talking Elevator of Tokyo

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14In My Two Small Fists

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15to all our friends

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16Englanding

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17Leaflets

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18What to Do if You Meet Nijinsky

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19The Ballad of the Familiar Stranger

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20Tissue Paper Flowers

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21Not Fleeing but Flying

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22The Last Goofs on Earth say Sorry to their Favourite Star

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23The Famous Battle

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24Playground

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25Roundabout

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26Pour Soul

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27Thanks to my Dog in an Hour of Pain

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28Disguise

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29King Lear's Fool Waves Goodbye

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30William Blake says: Every Thing That Lives Is Holy

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Books by Adrian Mitchell