room with a view

The window of the latest hotel room doesn’t offer much of a view. But I’ve always like red brick and it would be a lot more depressing if there weren’t that glorious unbroken blue sky.

hotel room view
Writing the post title reminded me I have a poem by the same name, written at least a decade ago, I suspect – back in the days when I thought it was normal to write letters rather than emails.

Room with a view

Here! Come over by the window, let me show you
things; look up and over there, see how the sooty smoke
from factory chimneys swirls and climbs
to join the clouds. And over there, how the sun’s last rays
melt terracotta bricks and set their tints adrift to paint the sky.

Now, grasp the window frame – feel the splintering wood
and paint flakes, but hold tight – you’ll need to stand
on tiptoe and I’ll push the window wide; lean, now,
and look down to your right: on, past the travel agent’s, can you see
that pool of green that peeps between grey walls?

I go there sometimes, tread the perimeter
of my three square yards of park; I touch the scaling bark
of that one London plane. Some days, I take a book
and read, or write a letter to my mother,
sitting on the grass.

(Douglas Adams fans may notice an allusion to the view from Kate’s bedroom window in ‘The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul’.)

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

2 thoughts on “room with a view”

    1. I hope it’s just you: the narrator is certainly aware that admiring the “view” is a risky business and says to “hold tight” so the other person won’t fall out of the window.

      It’s said that “a poem is never finished, only abandoned” (that seems to be from Paul Valery, but I’m not sure he said it in English, so the original may have been quite different.) This one was abandoned a long time ago and it would probably need to be completely re-written to make it work as well as I’d like it to.


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