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Visitor -- Les Murray

Guest poem submitted by David McKelvie:
(Poem #1176) Visitor
 He knocks at the door
 and listens to his heart approaching.
-- Les Murray
I like Les Murray, but sometimes I hate the things he says. I can hate his
politics and his religion. A lot of the time it feels like he is telling us
(the reader) that we are bad and wrong. But as Gabriel Garcia Marquez said
of Borges: "He is a writer I cannot stand. And yet I love the violin he
makes use of for expressing himself."

Murray is a master poet with staunch conservative beliefs contrary to my
own. But anyone who can write "Religions are poems. They concert / our
daylight and dreaming mind, our / emotions, instinct, breath and native
gesture // into the only whole thinking: poetry" is okay by me.... :)

This is a very short poem from his latest collection "Poems the Size of
Photographs" and I love the sheer volume he fits into 12 words (including
the title). I particulary like the use of sound: the thud of a knock on the
door matching the thud of the Visitor's heartbeat matching the thud
(perhaps) of the feet approaching the door.  I've spent ages going through
all the possibilities and scenarios in my head... But this is a universal
scene and I defy anyone to say they haven't experienced it.

David.

44 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Freda Hoare said...

Thanks for the poem which I enjoyed but although most of my thoughts were
the same as Les', I felt that the poem was good because of what it didn't
say. When I knock at a door the last person I think about is myself I
listen to what is going on behind the door though the person knocking may
have been out of breath!

Vikram Doctor said...

Its interesting how many very excellent poets have been quite conservative, or have turned that way as they grow older. For example, Eliot, Auden and Larkin (but NOT Pound, who was just bonkers). As someone who leans to the conservative, its a congenial thought.

Vikram

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