Poem introduction

Now this uses some lines from a Persian poet of five or six centuries ago, Saeb Tabrizi, called 'The Garden of Amazement'. It was just a number of lines from this poem of his.

Vocation

Each grain of dirt, each spark holds mysteries of how
art forms, as end and start both become now.
Words eagle-winged with metaphor may zoom sky high,
but can’t reveal much of love’s magnitude
unless they evoke lip-touch, scent from distant room.
On sea floor shellfish turns dirt-grain to pearl.
Sun’s perfect sphere is seen most clear through mist.
Love purity? Moon is only spotless
in a narrow crescent curl. How easy to see
and love perfection in a distant girl!
Sharp thorns defend a softly, brightly petalled rose
which we all know is bait for bee and bug.
Were all our dead weight lost, could feet tread sky’s blue rug?
Make sense of these images if you wish.
Like shellfish on sea floor my heart is never still.
None know the pearl it holds. None ever will.


uncollected, first published in Fras, issue 20, 2011, © Alasdair  Gray  2011, used by permissiion of the author

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1Biography

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2Autobiography

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3Marriage

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4To Andrew, Before One

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5Perspectives

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6Woundscape

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7Awakening

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8Unlovely

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9Not Striving

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10Lyrical End

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11Old Moments

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12Winter Housekeeping, 1990

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13Photograph 1956

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14Waiting in Gallway

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15Far North of Dover Beach

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16Postmodernism

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17Genesis

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18Dictators

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19A Censor Complains

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20The Naming of Britain

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21Moonlight

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22Vocation

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23Last Request

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24An Author's Lament

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Books by Alasdair Gray