Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Frank Kuppner: from Movements in the Crypt


    29.
This vast garden of tame birds and peaceful animals
Seems to me to be a somewhat uneasy Paradise.
I mean, what do these creatures actually eat?
The predators glance meaningfully at each other.

This may be the perfectest place of all to be;
But the sight of a few feathers, idly blowing
Over the grass, in the cool of the promising morning,
Starts trains of thought which one does not wish to follow.


No. 29 in the sequence "Movements in the Crypt", subtitled Fifty Border Ballads (1987). Kuppner should really be read in quantity for his humour and his subversion of the serious quatrain to have full effect. His self-deprecating surrealism is very British, although being Scottish he might not appreciate the label.