Sunday, 12 April 2015

Fine particles

An Iron Lung

over the plains
and the cities 
 the pale moon sun 
 like a sickly child 
turns up the heat,

talk over the top 
 of the smog 
the barrier beneath 
the yellow rolled fog, 

it stands in effect 
for the whole blue world  
which is yellow 
and hazy, 

the child 
in the picture 
  will breathe 
no other


  1. A child in our village in the days of the Polio epidemic lived for some years in an iron lung - appalling to think of.

  2. Thanks Pat, a sobering thought.

  3. I cant see a child anywhere. If he/she was in there I would see a head.

  4. Rachel, I think the poetic picture is supposed to be in the reader's head. The "sickly child" with a fever in the poem, and the "pale moon sun" growing hotter in the cities on the plains suggests breathing bad air, the pollution of the "yellow" fog (a nod to Eliot); now recall the fogs we had in GB before the clean air act as they now have in China, India etc. In fact here in Austria the city of Graz has already exceeded its fine particle allowance for the whole of 2015, which is what prompted the poem.

    1. I only see things in black and white.


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