En route to the station, I pass by these lovely purple flowers:
The plant must be well over six foot in height – the flowers tumble over a fence too high for me to look over – and I think it must be growing in the garden of a pub that has been “under offer” for at least the last six months.
I know three plants that have flowers that look like that – aubergines, potatoes and deadly nightshade – so I’m really quite keen to see what happens when the berries set.
Although there is little real connection, this is as good an excuse as any to re-post this old poem:
Sounds rise through plaster, wood and dust; they twist
between the ceiling joists, and round ceramic tiles to twine
with moonlight, drifting, woven in dreams, until
they filter into consciousness. Then,
there are no more dreams:
the sounds contract
to words as hard
and tight as fists that punch
into the sobbing night.
I hear the darkness
catch its breath
and a banshee wail
drags the dawn
Last time I posted that piece, almost five years ago, I pondered whether it is important for the reader to understand what a poet had in mind when they wrote specific phrases. I don’t think it is.
Essentially, I believe that the sensation and emotion evoked by the sounds and rhythms of a poem are every bit as important as any identifiable semantic or narrative significance. In fact, by demanding specific explanations, we impose limits, forcing a focus on one single interpretation and denying other possibilities.
At the moment, I can imagine that the plant with the purple flowers is sprouting from a potato the size of a small car, that the garden behind the fence is a mass of deadly nightshades two metres high, or a number of other possibilities. Perhaps I should be satisfied with the fact the flowers are pretty and brighten my day, and not demand that they be specifically identified.