Looking through windows…

I heard this on the radio the other day;

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes-
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of your hands-
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

Louis Macneice

It is a lovely poem, opening up all sorts of delicious possibilities. I particularly liked the second stanza, as it captures the whole world in an tangerine pip- the drunkeness of things being various.

It reminded me of the way poets look at things- looking through different windows perhaps, and seeing deeply.

It also reminded me of another poem- which the radio programme also made mention of later- by Gerard Manley Hopkins, with these lines;

Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

The first poem glimpses the size and wonder of the world, the second the spaces for God in it.

Amen to both.

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