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Sport 38: Winter 2010

Tony Hoagland farewells the poets

Tony Hoagland farewells the poets

The Aldeburgh train has two carriages
and carries at least ten poets
scattered among the passengers.

The festival at Aldeburgh is over
and in several cars the poets have reached the station
in time to farewell their hosts with platitudes

(they are tired of words now and rest on platitudes)
and here comes the same fateful train they arrived on
less significant-seeming, smoking and grimy

and they travel backwards into the landscape
some poets facing the engine, some the reverse
because poetry has a place alongside other bodies.

But at King's Cross Tony Hoagland gathers them up.
He springs from the front carriage, bowing
and sweeping his arm like a hat

'Poets,' he declaims and looks fly his way
above the thundering feet. 'Poets'
and we are gathered before the blinding exits.