Sunday, April 19, 2015

At Sartre's Funeral

This poem has little to do with Sartre or Simone de Beauvoir, but the image of her sitting in a chair above  his grave got me started. I didn't see a photograph, so it was easier to envisage her as, almost, sitting by her hearth.

It is one of a number of poems that would not have been written if I had seen the image as it actually was. I wrote a number of poems on the subject of the felos in Galician carnaval (published in a chap-book, Felos aínda serra, by Amastra-N-Gallar, 2004; see link in side panel); I saw the images in black and white; had I seen  the many photographs which were in colour I would not have been able to write them.

They Gave Me A Chair.


They gave me a chair

so I could sit beside the grave,

like a woman painted in

after the funeral crowds had gathered.

And I, his lover, was looking down

as though this earth was some sort of heaven,


I'd prefer it south-facing

or he could do with a bit more space

or some other such nonsense.

Then alone again, I found,

fixed above all my memories,

the picture of a coffin

on the floor of an empty room

as seen from above.

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