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.

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Helen Farish

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1Look at These

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2Auto Reply

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3Feathered Coyote

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4Under the Bridge

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5Mount Mirtagh and Back

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6In the Church of St. Joseph Prague

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7Treasures

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8Surgery

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9The Accident

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10Mesoplodon Pacificus

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11Blindfold

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12The Old King's Garden

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13The Lighthouse of Nauset

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14Picnic Spots

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15Brathay

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16Slater Bridge

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17Custodian

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18Allington Cross

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19The Lorton Valley

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20To Whiteside

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21Odyssey

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22Plum Island

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23Kit

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24Rue des Lions

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25What Held Us There

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26Programme

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27Coffin Path Poem

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2824th June 1955

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29Newly Born Twins

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30Recording

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31China Dogs

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32July

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33The White Gate

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34Manicure

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35Airing

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36My Father's Dressing Gown

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37‘Grant Us Time to Read and Ponder'

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38Outside the Baker's

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39Resurrection

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40Dad's Barn

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41Posting

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42Appellation

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Books by Helen Farish