A poem to honor the meeting of the literary and the technological

Google Earth

The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from
earth to heaven.
……….. Theseus, from a Midsummer Night’s Dream
……….. (Act V, Scene 1) Shakespeare

We started in Africa, the world at our fingertips,
dropped in on your house in Zimbabwe; threading
our way north out of Harare into the suburbs,
magnifying the streets–the forms of things unknown,
till we spotted your mum’s white Mercedes parked
in the driveway; seeming–more strange than true,
the three of us huddled round a monitor in Streatham,
you pointed out the swimming pool and stables.
We whizzed out, looking down on our blue planet,
then like gods—zoomed towards Ireland–
taking the road west from Cork to Kinsale,
following the Bandon river through Innishannon,
turning off and leapfrogging over farms
to find our home framed in fields of barley;
enlarged the display to see our sycamore’s leaves
waving back. Then with the touch of a button,
we were smack bang in Central London,
tracing our footsteps earlier in the day, walking
the wobbly bridge between St Paul’s and Tate Modern;
the London Eye staring majestically over the Thames.
South through Brixton into Streatham–
one sees more devils than vast hell can hold–
the blank expressions of millions of roofs gazing
squarely up at us, while we made our way down
the avenue, as if we were trying to sneak up
on ourselves; till we were right outside the
door:
the lunatic, the lover and the poet– peeping through
the computer screen like a window to our souls.

by Adam Wyeth
from Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland
Dedalus Press, Dublin, 2010

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2 comments on “A poem to honor the meeting of the literary and the technological

  1. Thank you for posting this, Lothlorien! I, too, really enjoyed this. It’s amazing how powerful words are — I could really see the images in my head, and the words really moved me (“the lunatic, the lover and the poet– peeping through/the computer screen like a window to our souls.”)… Fun poem, too.

    I found a YouTube video of Adam Wyeth perform a reading of this poem, so I read the words of this poem with the audio of Wyeth reading. It really made a difference in terms of the tempo and rhythm of the poem, and gave me a different feel and interpretation of the poem. Here’s a link to the video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZVViTrxL2-o

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