After: As Hopper might paint now

This is the start of a new series of poems called After. These poems are inspired by, and go into conversation with, some of my favourite poems. I kept the poem titles of the originals (after checking copyright rules of course).

I’ve already posted a couple of these on Instagram, and I’ll post those here shortly as well.

Today’s poem responds to a poem by East Sussex-based poet Howard Young from his collection To Know The Way Back. You might have read him in several of the Free Verse Revolution anthologies. I first met Howard on Instagram, where he still posts on a regular basis.

To Know The Way Back was published by Sunday Mornings At The River.


As Hopper might paint now

after Howard Young

In each of us lives a sad
usherette. Mine travelled
home in a tram carriage. It slipped
like a liquid bubble in medical TPU tubing
through the turquoise half-covered dusk.

In ashen streets, her eyes
are a chestnut covered slope, leading to a dark pond.
She listens to dry leaves dancing
in repetitious murmuration, speaking with closed lips.

She won’t sit still long enough
for you to identify or empathise with her.
The photos on the mantelpiece lie face down.

She’s busy writing, thinking
about the ill light on the lymphatic faces,
like they have never possessed an ounce of grace.

She looks for the light
in a dozen Edward Hopper paintings and finds it
warmer. The suffering only highlighted,
so she can give
them the clemency of a gentle spring.

9 thoughts on “After: As Hopper might paint now

  1. Wonderful poem, Conny. Great word choices.

    (Aside: titles have no copyright ‘rights’ — is this what you discovered, Conny? That’s what I discovered when I checked) neither do title of books. AmIright? Please correct me if you know differently. Thanks))

    Thanks for writing this poem. Lovely 👏

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s