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Saturday, December 3, 2022

'Discover what needs to be done'


“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.   Raine credits his writing and love of literature to “a great teacher in my growing up years.”  


For Saturday’s Poem, and as a tribute to all  the plant life that is 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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