Poetic Words: Dannie Abse
I don’t usually post about poetry two days running, but circumstances seem to justify reblog of the poem Three Street Musicians by wonderful Welsh poet Dannie Abse, who died on Sunday.
Three Street Musicians
Three street musicians in mourning overcoats
worn too long, shake money boxes this morning,
then, afterwards, play their suicide notes.
The violinist in chic, black spectacles, blind,
the stout tenor with a fake Napoleon stance,
and the looney flautist following behind,
they try to importune us, the busy living,
who hear melodic snatches of musichall
above unceasing waterfalls of traffic.
Yet if anything can summon back the dead
it is the old-time sound, old obstinate tunes,
such as they achingly render and suspend:
‘The Minstrel Boy’, ‘Roses of Picardy’.
No wonder cemeteries are full of silences
and stones keep down the dead that they defend.
Stones too light! Airs unresistible!
Even a dog listens, one paw raised, while the stout,
loud man amazes with…
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