Friday Poem — by Thom Gunn


Born in a sour waste lot
You labored up to light,
Bunching what strength you’d got
And running out of sight
Through a knot-hole at last,
To come forth into sun
As if without a past,
Done with it, re-begun.

Now street-side of the fence
You take a few green turns,
Nimble in nonchalance
Before your first flower burns.
From poverty and prison
And undernourishment
A prodigal has risen,
Self-spending, never spent.

Irregular yellow shell
And drooping spur behind…
Not rare but beautiful
— Street-handsome — as you wind
And leap, hold after hold,
A golden runaway,
Still running, strewing gold
From side to side all day.

Thom Gunn 1929-2004

1 Comment

  • Maura

    April 29, 2011

    Excellent imagery. It can be used to described many versions of thineself. Always a struggle to start over. I don’t think anyone has ever not felt of a time where they’d like to ‘rebegun’. Isn’t that the root of humanity itself?? ‘To err is human’ and with that it is also breathed that ‘the pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement’ -George Will. So why do we try so hard? Is it all laced in perception? Why?! Or shall I answer myself with the need of acceptance. If that’s the case, who’s the ‘individual’ and why do they matter?

    P.S. – Love the incorporation of poetry into the selection.

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