Tell of the Sad Derangement of the Mind

Tell of the Sad Derangement of the Mind

for Harold Pinter

Tell of the sad derangement of the mind.
The wheat is being harvested. The sun
Shines on the bales, unclouded, unconfined.
Work as brisk as hard is being done.
Cider's drunk at night. Documents are signed.
The bedrooms warm. No licences on fun.
Tell of the sad derangement of the mind.
Tell of the sorrow nations cannot mend.

Tell of the sad derangement of the heart.
The wind is up and musical. The sky
Rolls over meadows, over cities, over cart
And Cadillac, the sanctum and the sty.
The blossom in the garden is not a thing apart.
Dinner's in the oven. Friends are dropping by.
Tell of the sad derangement of the heart.
Tell of the sorrow when nations have to part.

Tell of the sad derangement of the soul.
The wine is on the table. The talk is fine.
There's lamplight in the corner, the glowing coal,
Laughter from the kitchen, washing on the line.
Gourmets (fit to twist a knowing nostril) stroll
The happy halls. There's music. Pass the wine.
Tell of the sad derangement of the soul.
Tell of the sorrow when nations lose control.

Tell of the sad derangement of the man.
Sleep is in the doorway, and the night
Closes behind it. The fondest lovers yawn,
Fold themselves in beds both neighbourly and right.
A sanctuary of starlight protects them as they scan
The inner world of dreams, before the morning light.
Tell of the sad derangement of the man.
Tell of the sorrow before the world began.


from Damnatio Memoriae: Erased from Memory (Enitharmon, 2004), copyright © Sebastian Barker 2004, used by permission of the author and publisher

Recordings

Sebastian Barker

Sebastian Barker Reading from his Poems

1Tilty Mill

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2The Green Aphis

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3The War of Watch and Pen

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4Bluebells

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5Shockwaves

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6The Walled Garden

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7On the Rocks

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8Before the Time of the Sundial 1, 3, 4, 8

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9The Hand in the Well

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10Go, Gracious Words

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11People

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12Poetry

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13Justice

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14The Light on the River

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15In the Cradle of the Poets

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16Visitation in the Mountains

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17Daughter

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18Spring Day Near Reepham

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19A Sealed Box for Xanthi

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20Strike the Lovely Dumb

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21Undone by Love

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22Drinking Song

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23A Love Song to Eros

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24Being Here

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25The Sage of the Cambrian Mountains

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26The Dancing Crocodile

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27Curriculum Vitae

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28Katie

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29A Book

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30Young Woman Dancing

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31A Small Ballet of Light

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32The Lilies of the Field

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33Sex

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34Take hands. The moon

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35On the Anvil of the Tongue

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36The Visitors

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37Tell of the Sad Derangement of the Mind

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39Holy the Heart on which We Hang Our Hope

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40In the Valley of the Moselle

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38Athenagoras

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41The Rites Mysterious

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42The Uncut Stone

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43The Conscience of the Real

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44Walk with Me

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45The Fluting Trumpeteer

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46The Elderberry Tree

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47The Articles of Prayer

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48Rosaceous Wonders

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49The Stranger in the Pass

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50For Eddie Linden on his 70th Birthday

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51For Glyn Hughes on His 70th Birthday

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52Spirit of the River

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Books by Sebastian Barker