UKC TS Eliot prize winner, Simon Everett, composed, ‘A Study of Flatford Mill,’ whilst visiting the Flatford area on the Essex/Suffolk border where Constable painted ‘The Hay Wain’ in 1821.

Simon said of his poem, “It was inspired by revisiting a place of artistic inspiration and attempting to compose something through words rather than paint, simultaneously being fully aware of the previous artist.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself Simon!  Another amazingly beautiful poem.

I.

Constable, artist, you know
the image of your images
misses a small headwind
and the hilarity of ducklings.

That here is a slight place
where rhythms run slower
in this myopic patch of earth;
flatline out to reach another.

That there the composition
jars a touch, where you tended
to use the gesso too much.
However, we always fuss.

II.

The poet, reaching canvas,
evidently keen to show
the bulrush; the long grass,
garbles out a few words.

By early evening, the
numerous phrases collect
together, endeavour
to dab the authentic thing.

Stroke for stroke they sing,
perhaps, but can’t quite match.
And in the poor later light
they have trouble being said.

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.