Poetry | A ‘Hymn’ to Marlowe by Niall McDevitt


    Niall McDevitt

    A ‘Hymn’ to Marlowe

    birds of the air will tell of murders past

    Marlowe empurpled, the state and stations of death

    archive his cloven mind as it conjugates
    the Latin of reality into past/present only.
    the future is the faces of the triumvirate

    an English agent is not an English patient
    crossing blood-brain-barrier into night’s syllogism
    in time for Faustian bells to relay
    news to the newscasters of the hourly schism

    the living stand smaller than the supine cadaver
    (they who never brandish truth as a scourge)
    Baconians to a man, quantifying the blade’s value.
    the river is the helm of Her Majesty’s verge

    navigating its blue arc about the Isle of Dogs.
    Marlowe embalmed in the place of the skulls
    is consumed by the earth of the holy boneyard.
    o chalice misused, misunderstood by God’s gulls


    Niall McDevitt is the author of three collections of poetry, b/w (Waterloo Press, 2010), Porterloo (International Times, 2013) and Firing Slits, Jerusalem Colportage (New River Press, 2016). He is also known for his psychogeographical, psychohistorical walks such as The William Blake Walk, An Arthur Rimbaud Drift, A Chaucer London Pilgrimage, The KensingtonModernists, and many others. As art-activist he has campaigned to save the Rimbaud-Verlaine house in Mornington Crescent, and against overdevelopment of sites near Blake’s burial ground in Bunhill Fields. In 2016 he performed his poetry in Iraq at the Babylon Festival. He blogs at poetopography.wordpress.com.

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