Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 2 April 2012

  • Yves Tanguy

    The worlds are breaking in my head
    Blown by the brainless wind
    That comes from afar
    Swollen with dusk and dust
    And hysterical rain

    The fading cries of the light
    Awaken the endless desert
    Engrossed in its tropical slumber
    Enclosed by the dead grey oceans
    Enclasped by the arms of the night

    The worlds are breaking in my head
    Their fragments are crumbs of despair
    The food of the solitary damned
    Who await the gross tumult of turbulent
    Days bringing change without end.

    The worlds are breaking in my head
    The fuming future sleeps no more
    For their seeds are beginning to grow
    To creep and to cry midst the
    Rocks of the deserts to come

    Planetary seed
    Sown by the grotesque wind
    Whose head is so swollen with rumours
    Whose hands are so urgent with tumours
    Whose feet are so deep in the sand.

    by David Gascoyne

    'Yves Tanguy' is copyright © David Gascoyne, 1995. It is reprinted from Selected Poems by permission of Enitharmon Press.

    Notes from Enitharmon:

    David Gascoyne’s death in November 2001 was marked by lead obituaries in all the British broadsheets as well as in Le Monde. As a poet and translator he had been internationally renowned since the 1930s. He was the first chronicler in English of the Surrealist movement (whose members numbered the painter Yves Tanguy, the subject of this poem), and an essayist and reviewer of dazzling range. His association with Enitharmon Press dates back to 1970 and in the past decade there have been eight publications which will be lasting testaments of his importance. As well as his poetry, Enitharmon also publishes Gascoyne's Selected Prose 1934-1996, and his Journal 1936-1937. You can read more about his Selected Poems at Enitharmon's website here, where it is possible to hear Gascoyne read two other poems from the collection. You can also hear the poet read more of his work at the Poetry Archive. Ian Sinclair reviewed a new biography of Gascoyne in Saturday's Guardian.

    Enitharmon Press takes its name from a William Blake character who represents spiritual beauty and poetic inspiration. Founded in 1967 with an emphasis on independence and quality, Enitharmon has been associated with such figures as Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Kathleen Raine. Enitharmon also commissions internationally renowned collaborations between artists, including Gilbert & George, and poets, including Seamus Heaney, under the Enitharmon Editions imprint. You can sign up to the publisher's mailing list here to receive a newsletter with special offers, details of readings & events and new titles and Enitharmon's Poem of the Month.

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