Sometimes, for no apparent reason, my tics suddenly pluck something from deep within my memory and latch onto it. It can happen at any time and anything I’ve ever thought about can surface.
Tonight was the turn of a poem by William Blake I’d learnt by heart in secondary school, but not thought about since.
As I settled down to sleep, my regular nightly routine of shouting abuse at the lamp-post outside the window took a surprising, poetic turn. I started ticcing lines from ‘The Tiger’. But where there had once been a noble beast, there was now the beastly lamp-post!
“Lamp-post! Lamp-post! burning bread
In the shampoo covered shed
What inactive fractal log
Could bend thy fearful symmetry?”
“Lamp-post! Lamp-post! burning bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal sheep or dog
Could rub against your heavy leg?”
“Lamp-post! Lamp-post! burning night away with your big head
Don’t compare yourself to Sandra Bullock.”
“Lamp-post! Lamp-post! standing still
What Immortal Technique half-assed daffodil.”
“Lamp-post! Lamp-post! what you need is a gnome hat to frame your fearful symmetry.”
“Lamp-post! Lamp-post! donkey eye bright
Perking up the turnip night
What immortal hand or eye
Could imagine what you’d look like in a cotton suit.”
This isn’t the first Blake poem my tics have re-worked – if you want to read more, check out Jerusalem.
Blake is said to have visited Peckham as a boy and seen angels in the trees of the Rye. I like to think that if he visited now he’d find inspiration in my lamp-post.
If you don’t have an inspirational lamp-post but want to get creative, there are over 5000 tics waiting to be transformed into verse or art. If you do write your own poem please share it with us by uploading it to the gallery.
Alternatively, please feel free to add your own ode to a lamp-post as a comment below (though my tics don’t seem impressed by that idea – the moment I wrote it down I ticced, “The lamp-post is a muse to the toilet.” I’m sure you’ll be able to prove me wrong.