MANBOOKER 2012: Umbrella
A Joyce epigraph. Ambitious. The twenty-four
Hour crush of high modernism’s twin
High watermarks (Woolf’s London, the Dublin
Of Joyce) forsaken for a century stored
In overlapping free indirect (frindirect?)
Stories, fiercely described, the domestic
Scenes of pre-First-war streets hectic
With verisimilitude, less so the trench.
It may seem churlish – for I’ve been asking
These books for heave – but modernism
Happened for a reason then, & isn’t
For a reason now: learnt, ’tis too relaxing.
There Homer & ‘Gododdin’ haunt the deeps;
Here popular songs are overly neat.