Modern Love

I wrote this poem in response to The Guardian’s Poem of the Week, – a poem which surprised me with its very modern style and attitude, despite having been written 150 years ago.  The commentary is enjoyable too, “it’s as if the scene bustled with ghosts from the future.”

Now modern lovers like to fill their houses

With character, reminders of the past

Period features and things built to last

Salvaged from those shipwrecked eras. We browse

Through toughened-glass windows of woodburners

And see ourselves reflecting, warm and smug

On planting natives and foolhardy shrubs

Reframing John Constables and Turners

Pleased we’ve unearthed such secrets.  Who else knew

Neutral tones and a glass of Chilean red

Could hide disappointment and thoughts unsaid?

We have mint and thyme where daffodils grew.

The truth is revealed on luminous screens

“Ah, love dies, but wood floors are bound to last

And wine spillages can be mopped up fast!”

You and me shiver now in other dreams.


10 thoughts on “Modern Love

  1. That’s the perfect picture choice, given the reference to old and new… One of my favourite paintings by one of my favourite painters… I can also see why you were inspired by the original poem… You do manage to create a poem filled with a Turneresque heat and warmth 😀

  2. hide most disappointments…and thoughts unsaid…that is very telling of a love…i really like the quote as well on wood floors and spills…and your response to it…smiles.

    • thanks Brian… Meredith’s poem forced me to consider the relationship between old and new and our idea of what’s authentic, but sometimes our quest supersedes the importance of love

  3. We browse
    Through toughened-glass windows of woodburners
    And see ourselves reflecting, warm and smug… very interesting how we try and find ourselves in history sometimes…nicely penned…oh and i’m all for chilean red wine..smiles

  4. alarmingman says:

    Very, very good – I like how you’ve mingled lines from the Meredith poem with your response, as if continuing the conversation. It also makes me wonder if our separation of past and present is somewhat conceited…

    • Thank you, alarmingman – and thank you for noticing the mingling of lines 🙂 That’s an interesting point – I think Meredith’s lovers are ever aware of their present and future “hushed we sat/ As lovers to whom Time is whispering.” But I also think we are keen to disentangle ourselves from the past and reinvent… but I think it is a conceit.

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