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Saturday, March 13, 2021

'As Dancing is to Walking'

“Poetry is to prose as dancing is to walking.” – John Barrington Wain 

Born in England on March 10, 1925 Wain was a prolific poet, novelist and journalist, associated with the post-WWII literary group known as "The Movement.”   Wain also taught  at several major universities capped by a Poetry Professorship at Oxford.  


Among his best-known works are the novel Hurry On Down and a poetry collection Letters To Five Artists.  For Saturday’s Poem, here is Wain’s,


            Outside, gulls squabbled in the empty street


Outside, gulls squabbled in the empty street.  Criticism

and name-calling.  Salt air scrubbed the gleaming

Sunday morning walls.  Gutter-split stalks, leaves, fuelled the


and wheeling.  Feet, motors, slept. The inured citizens

turned over to snore again.  Beside me, my darling


slept in a deeper peace, like a princess in a fable

all through the sea-clean, gull-torn dawn, slept below


stunned by those hours of outrageous bliss, bliss upon bliss,

when love leapt higher than even the fiercest lovers were able.

Patient, I lay, expecting tea and her morning kiss.



                                                J.B. Wain

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