Poem introduction

My wife, to whom I've been married since 1955, rather ruefully says now and again that I don't seem to have written any real love poems about her, or not for a very long time. Here's about as close as I can get to a love poem. (She does like this one.)

Together, Apart

Together, Apart

Too much together, or too much apart:
This is one problem of the human heart.

Thirty-five years of sharing day by day
With so much shared there is no need to say

So many things: we know instinctively
The common words of our proximity.

Not here, you're missed; now here, I need to get away,
To make some portion separate in the day.

And not belonging here, I feel content
When brooding on the portion that is spent.

Where everything is strange, and yet is known,
I sit under the trees and am alone,

Until there is an emptiness all round,
Missing your voice, the sweet habitual sound

Of our own language. I walk back to our room
Through the great park's descending evening gloom,

And find you there, after these hours apart,
Not having solved this question of the heart.


from Selected Poems (Enitharmon, 1997), copyright © Anthony Thwaite 1997, used by permission of the author

Recordings

Anthony Thwaite

Anthony Thwaite Reading from his Poems

1Monologue in the Valley of the Kings

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2By the Sluice

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3A Girdle Round the Earth

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4For Louis MacNeice

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5Called For

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6At Marychurch

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7Shock

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8Imagine a City

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9The Return

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10Cockroach Story

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11Together, Apart

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12Sigma

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13Potter

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14Memoir

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15Snakes

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16Philip Larkin in New Orleans

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17Elegiac Stanzas

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18In 1936

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19My Father's Poems

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20Archaeology

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21Watching

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22Worst Words

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23The Message

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24A Crack of Air

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25Doing Business

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27How to Behave

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27Tune

28Epiphany

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29Movements

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30Simple Poem

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Books by Anthony Thwaite