Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A Photograph of the Dining Room

The sun pours in through sashes 10 feet tall,
And bounces off the mirrors on the wall
Of box pew panels painted chalky white.
The left side of the room is brilliant light,
Because the sun shines from the south, south east,
The beauty of the room is thus increased,
And captured here, frozen in this instant,
Unchanging, static, lying - nothing's constant.
The Sheraton settee, which is a chair,
Is serpentine, grey- green, but snakes nowhere.
A low and beaded stool is not the red
Of Turkey carpet, whose dull ground instead
Is faded to tomato.  The lampshade
On the left gleams cream. Ornaments displayed
Upon the mantelpiece just disappear,
Though its broken pediment is clear,
And the balusters and altar rail, which
Provide the tiers, and were taken from the church
A century and fifty years ago,
In dark oak contrast to the brilliance show.
The Chinese carpet terracotta lies
Within the foreground, distracting the eyes,
With its too bold design.  The linen press
Gives architectural height. Inside a mess
Of children's out grown coats is hidden. We
Would not keep so much if we could see
The clutter in our midst, the dining room
We call this, yet the table's in the gloom,
Insignificant, not central to the scene,
A study of light, dazzling and serene.


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