This week I failed to celebrate two fairly important days.
Wednesday, 30th of September was International Translation Day, and Thursday, 1st of October was National Poetry Day in the UK. (I’ve mentioned before that I don’t understand why the UK has a different Poetry Day and a different Book Day from other countries, but I’m not going to chase that red herring today.)
Since I write poetry and do translation, and, indeed, occasionally translate poetry, both of those days might be expected to matter to me. But somehow real life got in the way and I failed to notice either until they were pretty much all over bar the shouting.
There is always a theme for the UK National Poetry Day and this year it was vision. Given how oblivious I was, I can only assume I don’t count as a visionary poet. So I’ll use it as an excuse to re-post this piece from the archives, accompanied by some reposted photos. I’ll try and do better next year.
I’ve lost my glasses, without which I’m blind
as any clichéd pipistrelle. I’ve searched
in all the places that I knew they weren’t –
and I was right: they haven’t dropped behind
the tumble dryer, underneath the bed,
or in the trash; they aren’t perched on my head.
I’ve been through all the coats I never wear,
I even looked in John’s new jacket. There
I found a letter whose calligraphy
I didn’t know. Despite the cataracts,
my sight’s still good enough for me to read
a woman’s signature. So now, the fact
I’ve lost my specs no longer bothers me:
I’m focusing on other things, you see.