Friday, 15 October 2010

The Cage by David Gascoyne (1935 - 1937)

The Cage

In the waking night
The forests have stopped growing
The shells are listening
The shadows in the pools turn grey
The pearls dissolve in the shadow
And I return to you

Your face is marked upon the clockface,
My hands are beneath your hair
And if the time you mark sets free the birds
And if they fly away towards the forest
The hour will no longer be ours

Ours is the ornate birdcage
The brimming cup of water
The preface to the book

And all the clocks are ticking
All the dark rooms are moving
All the air's nerves are bare.
Once flown
The feathered hour will not return
And I shall have gone away.

by David Gascoyne

(Painting by Roland Penrose, Portrait of Valentine)


  1. So glad to see another Gascoyne fan. I recently had the pleasure of hearing the BBC production of his long "radiophonic poem", Night Thoughts - including a passage with fairly wild backwards tape accompaniment.

  2. Really? I'd love to hear it. Do you have a copy? My email's