As one of my favourite poets, Alice Oswald, has just won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, for the third book of poetry, Woods etc, it seems right to include a poem from that collection here.
Alice Oswald is the real thing a true poet of great power and capacity. She writes about the natural world and our relationship to it, reminding us that there is such a thing as a world we didnt make, and one that we badly need, for sanitys sake.
She is a very clever writer, but she wears it lightly.
This poem, written over Londons Westminster Bridge, is a response, like part of a conversation, to Willam Wordsworths really marvellous, Ode on Westminster Bridge you know the one and if not, find it and read it.
Anyway, heres Alice
Another Westminster Bridge
go and glimpse the lovely inattentive water
discarding the gaze of many a bored street walker
where the weather trespasses into strip-lit offices
through tiny windows into tiny thoughts and authorities
and the soft beseeching tapping of typewriters
take hold of a breath-width instant, stare
at water which is already elsewhere
in a scrapwork of flashes and glittery flutters
and regular waves of apparently motionless motion
under the teetering structures of administration
where a million shut-away eyes glance once
restlessly at the rivers ruts and glints
count five, then wander swiftly
away over the stone wing-bone of the city.