The Blickling Hall Poem
Tranquillity is only a style, whose glyphis struck at a moment’s rest,
phrasing the violence into pattern.
We found the secret garden, banked
in by trees, away from the orderof the parterre. We watched the wind
rocking the treetops, though the air
was still on our faces as we kissed
in the tiny summerhouse. You cannot stop
for long in this miniature world, closed
in by beech-hedges, as in the order
of a poem. A solitary sundial,
surrounded by lawn and brick-path,
centres it. It has no motto;
has only, perhaps, the slanting daylight
cut on a shadow’s fin, and moving
across its still surface.
NB When I posted the above I'd forgotten that I'd already done so, quite interestingly here, in a post to celebrate my 50th birthday, in which I contrast this 'earliest' poem with my most recent (as of 14/11/2005), and write about the conditions of writing both.
NB 2021. I may not have selected it, but Kevin Gardner and John Greening did for their anthology Hollow Palaces. Read about that here, and see me read the poem on video: Pages: Robert Sheppard: The Blickling Hall Poem (re: History or Sleep Selected Poems) .