Sunday, November 20, 2011

A plug - and a word of explanation

I've just stuck a new poem on Frankenstina. I haven't written much recently - it's a bit like getting up early to go swimming: once you're in the way of it it seems somehow easier, more natural, but if you've stopped for a bit it seems a totally unlikely thing to do. This one, however, occupied me in a hospital waiting room, where I was merely the chauffeur and not really involved in the reason for the visit. The room was full, most of the time - a swirling mix of Glasgow humanity, some obviously suffering, some quiet and staring into space, some flustered because they'd missed their names for whatever reason. We in fact missed the name of my friend, but that was because we were talking - four people for one appointment is far too social to be serious.

But when I was left alone, I couldn't resist a bit of the furtive note-taking of the "accursed observer", as Edwin Morgan would have it, and as the time passed I found it taking shape as the poem. The title is partly in amused homage to an old friend, who used to talk about the time he had once spent in what he called the Suffering General, in the old days when all the hospital was contained in the Victorian building that now fronts a building site where the new Southern General is rising among the chaos. However, it also reinforces for me the universality of suffering, and how we are all, from the most self-contained to the most vocally expressive, reduced to the same state of helpless passivity in the hospital setting, and how we will all, one day, arrive at the terminus that for now I am happy to forget.

Now - on with the journey...

1 comment:

  1. Love the new poem. Wish I could find the right words (and in the right order) to convey the scene from a staff perspective. We go about our working lives in the hospital environment without really taking too much notice to the invariably lost and frequently anxious patients who would rather be anywhere else on earth.