This is quite an old poem I wrote in 2008 (aged 17), on a trip to the Tate Modern with my friends. I was struck by the piece of art you see in the picture, 'Untitled' by Jannis Kounellis, so I sat down in front of it and composed this poem on the back of a Waterstones receipt. I was trying to imagine what it was like to live in the city in the picture, everything dull and grey and uniform, and how you have just a ripple of awareness of what your life is like ("Realisation/Writ in water") but it's there and gone, and any kind of original thought or ideas that take flight - represented by the black birds - are speared by the harshness of reality and fall back to the ground.
This was one of the few free-verse poems I've ever written (normally I'm a stickler for rhyme and meter), so I like it all the more for being different, and being inspired by this specific experience, which makes it (the experience and the poem) stick in my head all the more. I thought about it recently while I was at a concert where my cousin performed a piece of music that she'd written to represent a walk she took through London. I love art that's inspired by other art, and art that captures the things around you. I want to write more poems like this, but I haven't written anything quite like it in the years since then.
(The poem was meant to have quite specific spacing, but it seems to get taken out when I hit the Post button, which is a shame).
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