guido maus

guilty of abstraction
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Never such innocence again
(four brothers, equal surface - equal weight - equal volume)
corrosion resistant steel, 2008
 72 by 36 in. and 36 in. high

Those long uneven lines
Standing as patiently
As if they were stretched outside
The Oval or Villa Park,
The crowns of hats, the sun
On moustached archaic faces
Grinning as if it were all
An August Bank Holiday lark;

And the shut shops, the bleached
Established names on the sunblinds,
The farthings and sovereigns,
And dark-clothed children at play
Called after kings and queens,
The tin advertisements
For cocoa and twist, and the pubs
Wide open all day;

And the countryside not caring:
The place-names all hazed over
With flowering grasses, and fields
Shadowing Domesday lines
Under wheat's restless silence;
The differently-dresses servants
With tiny rooms in huge houses,
The dust behind limousines;

Never such innocence,
Never before or since,
As changed itself to past
Without a word - the men
Leaving the gardens tidy,
The thousands of marriages
Lasting a little while longer:
Never such innocence again.

                                        MCMXIV (1914)
                                        Philippe Larkin

In his poem "MCMXIV" ("1914"), Philip Larkin recalled that prelapsarian summer of 1914 (although he had never actually experienced it). So strong is still the myth of the Great War (World War I) in our modern memory.

all images and material   Guido Maus Copyright 1997 - 2009