On this day, November 22, 1913 English composer, conductor, and pianist. Edward Benjamin Britten was born He was a central figure of 20th-century British music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral […]Edward Benjamin Britten [1913-1976] — Marina Kanavaki
Mare Incognito (for J)
Southwold and Saltfleet,
that’s all I’m prepared to say.
Where eastern seaboards
lose out each year,
glacial moraines fall away
with no answer to tides
that even kings couldn’t resist.
England crumbling in eye and mind.
Now that could be a clue
but they’re not too high,
though high enough to sit on
and savour the grey seas,
the view, such as it is.
Does it matter?
Fine days won’t do, not to this mind.
Sea mists, fogs, or battleship skies
which leave enough to be imagined,
whose easterlies cut me into me
whatever I wear—they’re best—
when the only way to keep warm
is to keep moving, jogging
below the sleek aerobatics of herring-
and black-backed gulls,
super-marine harbingers of storm
doing their best to bring life to
Mitchell’s drawings of seaplanes—
and the spitfire.
Such an elegance in death.
But I’m here to forget about war,
about politics which can only
divide and kill.
Grey days mean I’m alone
in a moody make-believe.
I turn my back on all that was,
think about what might be,
where nightmares a few miles away,
that lost world within my right hand,
might just be gone when I return
or answer the bleep which says
I’m connected, branded for life.
Leave me now.
For a little while longer
let me say I’m free
image and poem © copyright df barker 2012