All Of These

October 31, 2008

This Friday’s poem is All Of These by Denis Glover from Enter Without Knocking published by Pegasus Press in 1971.


                   All Of These


Consider, praise, remember all of these –


All, blueprints in hand, who slowly river

The intricate structure, handle, girders like feathers,

take the inert and formless cement, give it

meaning, rearing new alls against weather;


these, guiding surely the sky-swung cargo bales

yawning over black hold; against all gales

they steady with merchandise the rolling mast,

pack tightly the walls of a ship, storm-fast;


these, building together the parts of an engine,

till revolutions, sweetly tension-strung,

instantly answer as control sends in

message to metal, giving lovely tongue;


these whose laboured cunning plough

carves deeply the sweep of the hill’s brow;

now with horses clumsily swinging anew

they’ve creamed over the black earth, arrow-true;


hands, timber-tried, that round the vessel’s bow

to take the wave, know prematurely how

the unsalted hull will lift to breaking seas –

consider, praise, remember all of these.


Their easy partnership of hand and eye

divides them not; life they identify

with effortless use of tools, lovely, articulate,

striking clear purpose into the inanimate.


              Denis Glover –

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