Notes: Still Life

Q I was going through your poem, ‘Still Life’ and I wanted to know whether, in the poem, you were doing daily chores (polishing brass and making a painting) which reminded you of an incident on your on friendship with someone? Or are you just linking friendship to these events?

A The poem records an incident:

‘It was good tonight/ to polish brass with you’.
We, I and another, have been polishing brass. This is not a job done often. We were making the house sparkle for an occasion. Once each item was done, it was placed with the others in a group, in a style of picture called a ‘Still Life’.

It is not about the past. It is the present, about working together, polishing the objects, revealing the truth of friendship, or love. Will the love last? Nothing lasts forever. However close we feel to another person, we are each alone, and individual. That is just a fact, and the moment and the thought recorded in the poem.

I could tell you the happy ending, but it would distract you from the poem, which concerns one evening, one mood.