This one, recently written, 'Ode to Didcot Power Station' - well, why not, I thought, it's not very much loved, by and large, Didcot Power Station - I have inherited grandchildren who live very near it and I find it rather beautiful, I think that landscape would now lack something were it missing. And brooding upon it, particularly when affected by the rain, I find it sort of gives rise to reverie and I thought if you're going to have an ode, why not go the whole hog and pull out all the stops, with 'thee's and 'thou's and fairly antiquated language. So, 'Ode to Didcot Power Station':

Ode to Didcot Power Station

What vasty thighs outspread to give thee birth,
DIDCOT, thou marvel of the plain?
Colossal funnels of the steamship EARTH,
Thy consummate immensity
Enshrines the rare propensity
Of fumes to form eternal acid rain!
While, in their pious hosts, Romano-Celtic ghosts
Are knelt to worship thy
All-belching amphorae,
And shadows of thy sacrificial breathing fill the sky!

DIDCOT, thou bugger!
Thou teaser of the mind
And recollection-tugger! Thee I find
To replicate the days when I was small
What time my mother, sweet and kind,
The fragrant Friar’s Balsam did infuse.
She therewithal
A towel placed upon my head
And loving care did use
That pulmonary perils might not wake me with the dead.

DIDCOT! To one more
Soft eidolon thou steams’t ope mem’ry’s door…
For in thy hanging shrouds I view return
Far other blue-grey clouds;
My father’s pipe-smoke I in thee discern,
Companion true,
That followed him all days
And ways he ventured through this singing maze,
To take that turn
All entrants in their bafflement and grace may not eschew.

What links of tenderness are forged by thee,
DIDCOT, thou ever-burning core!
Insensate lover of the loves that flee!
Thou glade of past felicity,
Thy sap of electricity
Complicit in our veins for evermore!
Struggling anent the storm, thy children ghost the form
Of all our quickenings may ever be…
DIDCOT, thy billows pour,
Connatural, contiguous, familial as the sea!

Uncollected poem, © Kit Wright 2005, used by permission of the author.

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.