which is the right length for a sonnet cycle it always seems to me - just long enough to be performed at a sitting, and appropriate because it's the same number as the lines of each poem.
And of course, having begun with one of the last poems, three weeks ago, I am ending with the one that comes first.
Oxford Prologue/Kensington 1974
We meet our friends before they are our friends
Have a vague sense of who it is we've met
And sometimes that is where acquaintance ends
And half of what we learned, we then forget
Except when chance means that we meet again
Then 'part-Italian, mad, Untidy. Hot.'
or 'tall, thin, queer' are pulled out of the brain.
We met in Kensington. Knew it was not
The first time. She had had the room between
Jean Flood and Sue. We sometimes met at tea.
No sense the few words spoken might have been
Important, so they faded. Memory
begins there, on the street. The story starts
and does not end until we break your hearts.