By John Fuller b. 1937 John Fuller
You don’t listen to what I say.   
When I lean towards you in the car   
You simply smile and turn away.

It’s been like this most of the day,   
sitting and sipping, bar after bar:   
You don’t listen to what I say.

You squeeze a lemon from a tray,   
And if you guess how dear you are   
You simply smile and turn away.

Beyond the hairline of the bay   
the steamers call that shore is far.   
You don’t listen to what I say:

Surely there’s another way?
The waiter brings a small guitar.   
You simply smile and turn away.

Sometimes I think you are too gay,   
smiling and smiling, hour after hour.   
You don’t listen to what I say.
You simply smile and turn away.

John Fuller, “Song” from Collected Poems, published by Chatto & Windus. Used by permission of The Random House Group Limited,

Source: Collected Poems (1996)

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Poet John Fuller b. 1937


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 John  Fuller


A prolific poet, novelist, children’s writer, critic, and editor, John Fuller has written or edited nearly 50 books, including more than a dozen collections of poetry. Fuller was born in Kent, England, and his father was the poet Roy Fuller. John Fuller was mentored by W.H. Auden and also influenced by Eliot, Graves, and Stevens. His poetry displays a virtuosic ease within the constraints of formal, metered verse; it is a poetry . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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