It’s poem in pocket day! What a charming idea – I wish I were still teaching, I could have had such fun with that. Hey, wait a minute, no I don’t wish I were still teaching, I am perfectly happy being a writer! If I had known of this when I was teaching… it would have been great, my students were so creative and imaginative and with such an interesting view on life!
I came across Robert Graves as a writer before I knew him as a poet, so when I did discover that he wrote poetry, and was one of the greatest of a whole phalanx of amazing poets, I was pleased and excited. We ‘did’ him at school as a World War I poet, but I read more extensively (as usual, not sticking to the curriculum and then not knowing the right stuff for exams) One of my favourite poems when I was 18 was ‘The Pier Glass’ which is so creepy… it inspired many stories and poems!
I thought of Graves today when I came across this blog: http://redvinylchair.com/2013/04/18/robert-graves-poet/
The Pier Glass is a long poem , so here are the first couple of verses, to fit in your pocket!
Lost manor where I walk continually
A ghost, while yet in woman’s flesh and blood;
Up your broad stairs mounting with outspread fingers
And gliding steadfast down your corridors
I come by nightly custom to this room,
And even on sultry afternoons I come
Drawn by a thread of time-sunk memory.
Empty, unless for a huge bed of state
Shrouded with rusty curtains drooped awry
(A puppet theatre where malignant fancy
Peoples the wings with fear). At my right hand
A ravelled bell-pull hangs in readiness
To summon me from attic glooms above
Service of elder ghosts; here at my left
A sullen pier-glass cracked from side to side
Scorns to present the face as do new mirrors
With a lying flush, but shows it melancholy
And pale, as faces grow that look in mirrors.
by Robert Graves
You can find the rest of the poem here: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-pier-glass/