Leaving the Tate

Poem By Fleur Adcock

Coming out with your clutch of postcards
in a Tate gallery bag and another clutch
of images packed into your head you pause
on the steps to look across the river

and there's a new one: light bright buildings,
a streak of brown water, and such a sky
you wonder who painted it - Constable? No:
too brilliant. Crome? No: too ecstatic -

a madly pure Pre-Raphaelite sky,
perhaps, sheer blue apart from the white plumes
rushing up it (today, that is,
April. Another day would be different

but it wouldn't matter. All skies work.)
Cut to the lower right for a detail:
seagulls pecking on mud, below
two office blocks and a Georgian terrace.

Now swing to the left, and take in plane-trees
bobbled with seeds, and that brick building,
and a red bus...Cut it off just there,
by the lamp-post. Leave the scaffolding in.

That's your next one. Curious how
these outdoor pictures didn't exist
before you'd looked at the indoor pictures,
the ones on the walls. But here they are now,

marching out of their panorama
and queuing up for the viewfinder
your eye's become. You can isolate them
by holding your optic muscles still.

You can zoom in on figure studies
(that boy with the rucksack), or still lives,
abstracts, townscapes. No one made them.
The light painted them. You're in charge

of the hanging committee. Put what space
you like around the ones you fix on,
and gloat. Art multiplies itself.
Art's whatever you choose to frame.

Comments about Leaving the Tate

Art multiplies itself. Art's whatever you choose to frame.............how truest! Congratulations on being chosen for so many times last 8 June and today. The 8 June 2019. A very keen observation on any landscape the poetess saw. Another museum? Then we can read another Masterpiece here. Any museum will do, the poetess does it! Her observational ability is true brilliant, that's why the poem reads like a Masterpiece.
Now swing to the left, and take in plane-trees bobbled with seeds, and that brick building, and a red bus...Cut it off just there, by the lamp-post. Leave the scaffolding in a very fine poem. tony
i like this one! like the message. it makes me want to read more of her poems. -gk
Marvelous panorama presented by the mother nature wonderfully portrayed, A well deserving modern poem of the day.
The last line quite succinctly sums the poem up nicely. Art really is the eye of the beholder.


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