You've Ruined My Evening/You've Ruined My Life

By Tom Raworth b. 1938 Tom Raworth
i would be eight people and then the difficulties vanish
only as one i contain the complications
in a warm house roofed with the rib-cage of an elephant
i pass my grey mornings re-running the reels
and the images are the same but the emphasis shifts
the actors bow gently to me and i envy them
their repeated parts, their constant presence in that world

i would be eight people each inhabiting the others’ dreams
walking through corridors of glass framed pages
telling each other the final lines of letters
picking fruit in one dream and storing it in another
only as one i contain the complications
and the images are the same, their constant presence in that world
the actors bow gently to me and envy my grey mornings
 
i would be eight people with the rib-cage of an elephant
picking fruit in a warm house above actors bowing
re-running the reels of my presence in this world
the difficulties vanish and the images are the same
eight people, glass corridors, page lines repeated
inhabiting grey mornings roofed with my complications
only as one walking gently storing my dream

Tom Raworth, "You’ve Ruined My Evening/ You’ve Ruined My Life" from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2003 by Tom Raworth.  Reprinted by permission of Carcanet Press, Ltd.

Source: Collected Poems (Carcanet Press, 2003)

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Poet Tom Raworth b. 1938

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Photography & Film

Biography

Writer, artist, teacher, and publisher Tom Raworth was born in South London. He attended the University of Essex; in 1970, he earned an MA in the theory and practice of literary translation. As founder of Matrix Press and cofounder of Goliard Press, Raworth was instrumental in bringing an entire tradition of American poetry to English readers. Promoting the work of a number of poets associated with the Black Mountain School, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Photography & Film

POET’S REGION England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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