Poem introduction

The word 'utopia' comes from Greek. It is usually understood as meaning either ‘the good place’ or ‘no place’ – that is, nowhere. One of my chief heroes, William Morris, wrote a utopian romance and called it 'News from Nowhere.' So that is the source of my title here, ‘Report from Nowhere’. I have been thinking lately of what the ideal community would be. It would be rural, I think, but it would also include the best features of urban life. Why not have a library in a cornfield or an art gallery in the forest? I should add that this is, quite literally a dream poem; I woke up one morning with most of it in my head. In Freud’s theory, dreams are made up of what he calls ‘the dream work’. My poem talks instead about ‘nightwork’, which could be a variety of things.

Report from Nowhere

It is not just the sex.
It is the reflection afterwards.

– as it might be in the fields, after haymaking, the sun
spread low along the horizon, shadows bold,
and they all troop off to the pub.
And the library. And the gallery.
And bed
with nightwork in the tangles of their minds.


from New and Collected Poems (Carcanet, 2012), © Clive Wimer 2012, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

Clive Wilmer Downloads

1The Goldsmith

£0.89

2The Ruined Abbey

£0.89

3The Parable of the Sower

£0.89

4Prayer for my Children

£0.89

5Post-war Childhoods

£0.89

6Aerial Songs

£0.89

7The Kitchen Table

£0.89

8To a Poet from Eastern Europe, 1988

£0.89

9Psalm

£0.89

10Kaspar Hauser

£0.89

11Vacations

£0.89

12The Holy of Holies

£0.89

13The Falls

£0.89

14Bottom's Dream

£0.89

15In The Library

£0.89

16Bethel

£0.89

17Healer

£0.89

18In the Conservatory

£0.89

19Cinnabar Moth

£0.89

20A Curse

£0.89

21Report from Nowhere

£0.89

22Miss Inkpen

£0.89

23The old men at the swimming-pool

£0.89