May 2001

Peter Robinson


Peter Robinson is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, translations, and criticism. His most recent publications include a collection of poems, About Time Too (Carcanet, 2001) and The Thing About Roy Fisher: Critical Studies (Liverpool University Press, 2000), co-edited with John Kerrigan. 

Listen to the Summer    Click to hear in real audio

Then look at how the plain
senses of these things
get on with their own businesses
by underpass, down sidings— 
mugwort, willowherb, convolvulus
binding landscaped heaps of grasses,
chamomile at a platform's edge;
some people on the platforms,
even a couple's passionate kiss
aren't memories of anything
or anyone in this stillness.

On a rail track embankment
infested with foxes,
no breeze, the leaves just point
this July heatwave afternoon,
its resemblances muffled, all mute;
when departure and destination
points change places, there is time
to notice how the ivy thrives
being left to its own devices
—as if here too the most neglected
in the long run most survives.

But be that as it may, now time's
elapsing swells each moment,
still, while you wait for a signal...
and desultory conversation
in an alien tongue, it seems, shows strains
of purpose grown flaccid this late in the day;
wheels clatter on points like sudden
laughter, the music of division,
and a train with its latest livery
slopes into one more pitched curve
then is as slowly gone.



Peter Robinson: Poetry
Copyright � 2001 The Cortland Review Issue 16The Cortland Review