The worlds are breaking in my headBlown by the brainless windThat comes from afarSwollen with dusk and dustAnd hysterical rain
The fading cries of the lightAwaken the endless desertEngrossed in its tropical slumberEnclosed by the dead grey oceansEnclasped by the arms of the night
The worlds are breaking in my headTheir fragments are crumbs of despairThe food of the solitary damnedWho await the gross tumult of turbulentDays bringing change without end.
The worlds are breaking in my headThe fuming future sleeps no moreFor their seeds are beginning to growTo creep and to cry midst theRocks of the deserts to come
Planetary seedSown by the grotesque windWhose head is so swollen with rumoursWhose hands are so urgent with tumoursWhose 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.
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