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Saturday, December 3, 2016

A simple task; so just 'do it'

“The task of the artist at any time is uncompromisingly simple:  To discover what has not yet been done, and to do it.” Craig Raine

Born on this date in 1944, Raine is an English poet and past Fellow of New College, Oxford (from 1991 – 2010) where he is now emeritus professor.  These days he keeps busy editing the literary magazine Areté, which he founded in 1999.   Raine credits his writing and love of literature to “a great teacher in my growing up years.”  We should all be so fortunate to have such a mentor set a life’s course that leads to great writing like his.
For Saturday’s Poem, and as a tribute to all                  
 the plantlife that is about done for the fall season as the winter months arrive, here is Raine’s,


Dead dandelions, bald as drumsticks,
swaying by the roadside

like Hare Krishna pilgrims
bowing to the Juggernaut.

They have given up everything.
Gold gone and their silver gone,

humbled with dust, hollow,
their milky bodies tan

to the colour of annas.
The wind changes their identity:

slender Giacomettis, Doré's convicts,
Rodin's burghers of Calais

with five bowed heads
and the weight of serrated keys . . .

They wither into mystery, waiting
to find out why they are,

patiently, before nirvana
when the rain comes down like vitriol. 

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