Sunday, August 19, 2007

Prague Spring

This poem has been half written since my visit to Prague last year. Had another go at it today. I think it is getting somewhere at long last.

Prague Spring

Parachuted in on a cheap flight to cobbled
streets last seen forty years ago, furnished
with Russian tanks, on a looping TV screen.

Now the Museum of Communism is to be found
above MacDonald’s at Na Prikope 10. I savour this
Kafkaesque nugget like a poke of salted fries.

In the Old Jewish Cemetery crowds shuffle past lopsided
headstones, while time, still complicit with the past,
carries on erasing Hebrew names from soft, sedimentary slab.

A single set of footprints in the snow leads the eye
towards the perimeter wall, and a padlocked gate.
Few can pick the lock of a city not their own.

I’m ready to go home.


We had a lovely meal for our wedding anniversary, and I got two poetry books from my husband, one is a collection of Commonwealth poetry to celebrate Glasgow's bid for the Commonwealth Games. It's called Poems United and is edited by Diane Hendry and Hamish Whyte. It makes you marvel at just how elastic and versatile the English language is.

Off for G&T, we discovered flat tonic makes very good ice cubes for G&T, it stops it being diluted with mere water lol!

12 Comments:

Blogger Colin Will said...

Nice poem, apprentice. I first visited Prague the year after the fall of communism, and it was really exciting. I've been back twice since, and it's changed a lot. My 'Prague poem' is with a magazine editor at the moment. Fingers crossed. You've also reminded me that it's been ages since I've had a G&T. Must make some ice.

11:27 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks Colin, good luck with your I'm sure it will do well, you seem to be having a purple patch just now.

12:37 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

The poem says so much about your visit in such a small space, and the line 'Few can pick the lock of a city not their own' is a real 'Yes!' one.
(Liked the tomatillo/teenage bra image in the other one too, made me chuckle!)

12:45 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks Lucy. I was going to add a bit about all the other things I did/saw, but these two made the biggest impression.

4:29 pm  
Blogger Cailleach said...

I like the lock picking metaphor too - nicely turned out apprentice. Flat tonic, there's a thought ;)

9:37 pm  
Blogger PI said...

That's a lovely poem and a great post. Enjoy your G and T with ice and a slice.

7:13 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

That tonic ice block idea is a great tip!
Love the poem too. The way it ends sums up the melancholy despair.

8:31 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks all. Can report the flat tonic ice cubes work well, and it's great not to throw it aay.They make opaque ice cubes too which look good in the glass.

12:20 pm  
Anonymous Prague Hotels said...

Yes, very good poem. I'd like to write poem also, but I can't unfortunately. But I have great impressions after Prague. I recently visited the City of Prague, also known as “the golden city of spires” on Vltava River. I found Prague very attractive, and the thousand-year history was visible particularly in the architecture. The touristy Old Town, the Prague Castle, the Little Quarter and the Jewish Town made a deep impression on me with beautiful medieval, gothic- and baroque-style churches and renaissance residential buildings, museums, cafes and theaters. One could wander through the meandering streets of Prague for days in a row and continuously discover hidden alleyways and unique views.

2:59 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:11 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Yes it is a very beautiful city. It's just these things struck me most forcefully about my visit. I think history there is much nearer the surface than here, or that's how it felt to me. And I didn't feel capable of scratching that surface as I didn't have the language or the knowledge to truly understand the place, beyond appreciating it its beauty.

12:22 am  
Blogger L.M.Noonan said...

Very beutifully and evocative. I've never been to Prague, but I feel i know somthing important about it now

5:24 am  

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