A poem from the 1930s I think – but it is sadly just as relevant today.

In railway halls, on pavements near the traffic
They beg, their eyes made big by empty staring
And only measuring Time, like the blank clock.

No, I shall weave no tracery of pen ornament
To make them birds upon my singing tree:
Time merely drives these lives which do not live
As tides push rotten stuff along the shore.

There is no consolation, no, none,
In the curving beauty of that line
Traced on our graphs through History, where the oppressor
Starves and deprives the poor.

Paint here no draped despairs, no saddening clouds
Where the soul rests, proclaims eternity.
But let the wrong cry out as raw as wounds
This time forgets and never heals, far less transcends.

Stephen Spender.

Advertisements