Poetry Month 2012. 9: Atlas

Here is one by U.A. Fanthorpe – another poet whose work I’m sadly quite unfamiliar with. Incidentally, whenever I see a poet who uses only their initials, I assume that they are female but from an era in which that meant they wouldn’t get published and/or any actual respect. In this case, the poet is female.


     There is a kind of love called maintenance,
     Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

     Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
     The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

     Which answers letters; which knows the way
     The money goes; which deals with dentists

     And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
     And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

     The permanently ricketty elaborate
     Structures of living; which is Atlas.

     And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
     Which knows what time and weather are doing
     To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
     Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
     My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
     My suspect edifice upright in air,
     As Atlas did the sky.

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