Henry Reed(22 February 1914 - 8 December 1986 / Birmingham)
Naming of Parts
- by Henry Reed35
Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday, We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning, We shall have what to do after firing. But today, Today we have naming of parts. Japonica Glistens likecoral in all the neighboring gardens, And today we have naming of parts.
This is the lower sling swivel. And this Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see, When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel, Which in your case you have not got. The branches Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures, Which in our case we have not got.
This is the safety-catch, which is always released With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see Any of them using their finger.
And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers: They call it easing the Spring.
They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt, And the breech, the cocking-piece, and the point of balance, Which in our case we have not got; and the almond blossom Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards, For today we have the naming of parts.
- by Henry Reed27
Not only how far away, but the way that you say it Is very important. Perhaps You may never get The knack of judging a distance, but at least you know How to report on a landscape: the central sector, The right of the arc and that, which we had last Tuesday, And at least you know
That maps are of time, not place, so far as the army Happens to be concerned-- the reason being, Is one which need not delay us. Again, you know There are three kinds of tree, three only, the fir and the poplar, And those which have bushy tops to; and lastly That things only seem to be things.
A barn is not called a barn, to put it more plainly, Or a field in the distance, where sheep may be safely grazing. You must never be over-sure. You must say, when reporting: At five o'clock in the central sector is a dozen Of what appear to be animals; whatever you do, Don't call the bleeders sheep.
I am sure that's quite clear; and suppose, for the sake of example, The one at the end, asleep, endeavors to tell us What he sees over there to the west, and how far away, After first having come to attention. There to the west, Of the fields of the summer sun and the shadows bestow Vestments of purple and gold.
The white dwellings are like a mirage in the heat, And under the swaying elms a man and a woman Lie gently together. Which is, perhaps, only to say That there is a row of houses to the left of the arc, And that under some poplars a pair of what appear to be humans Appear to be loving.
Well that, for an answer, is what we rightly call Moderately satisfactory only, the reason being, Is that two things have been ommitted, and those are very important. The human beings, now: in what direction are they, And how far away, would you say? And do not forget There may be dead ground in between.
There may be dead ground in between; and I may not have got The knack of judging a distance; I will only venture A guess that perhaps between me and the apparent lovers, (Who, incidentally, appear by now to have finished,) At seven o'clock from the houses, is roughly a distance Of about one year and a half.
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