About the poet
Tom Paulin (b. 1949) is a poet, essayist, editor and lecturer, and a regular panellist on the...
It's a sad creature I'm afraid the body
all the classics - every book that stands steady
I on my shelves I've read them through but only
to make this wish - oh to walk to the edge of the sea
and watch stints skittering along the tideline
then scattering up and beyond into the sky!
not a thing - not the gardens of mouldy chateaus
wet and glaucous in her eyes -
not a thing no one will stop me I've got to go
down to the wild sea - I tell you not nights
crossing blank pages under my desklamp
- not that desert wild or the sigh
of a dumpy girl breastfeeding her child
will stop me booking a berth on some tramp
steamer heaving its rust toward the tropics
- I'll wave my snotrag from the deck sick
of stroking my own boredom - by the saltstained smokestack
let me dream of wind and wrecks!
from The Road to Inver: Translations, Versions and Imitations 1975-2003 (Faber, 2004), copyright © Tom Paulin 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher
Tom Paulin Reading from his Poems