Thom Gunn

(29 August 1929 – 25 April 2004 / England)

Black Jackets


In the silence that prolongs the span
Rawly of music when the record ends,
The red-haired boy who drove a van
In weekday overalls but, like his friends,

Wore cycle boots and jacket here
To suit the Sunday hangout he was in,
Heard, as he stretched back from his beer,
Leather creak softly round his neck and chin.

Before him, on a coal-black sleeve
Remote exertion had lined, scratched, and burned
Insignia that could not revive
The heroic fall or climb where they were earned.

On the other drinkers bent together,
Concocting selves for their impervious kit,
He saw it as no more than leather
Which, taught across the shoulders grown to it,

Sent through the dimness of a bar
As sudden and anonymous hints of light
As those that shipping give, that are
Now flickers in the Bay, now lost in sight.

He stretched out like a cat, and rolled
The bitterish taste of beer upon his tongue,
And listened to a joke being told:
The present was the things he stayed among.

If it was only loss he wore,
He wore it to assert, with fierce devotion,
Complicity and nothing more.
He recollected his initiation,

And one especially of the rites.
For on his shoulders they had put tattoos:
The group's name on the left, The Knights,
And on the right the slogan Born to Lose.

Submitted: Saturday, November 12, 2005

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
5 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Black Jackets by Thom Gunn )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Then ever it would really you are not e.., Yuri Starostin
  2. Judicially, hasmukh amathalal
  3. ACCENT, Terry Collett
  4. Passion, Suresh Dogra
  5. Joy and peace, gajanan mishra
  6. Light, Suresh Dogra
  7. No purpose yet, hasmukh amathalal
  8. A Bit of Clarity- Finally, Andy Caldwell
  9. Anticipation, Roann Mendriq
  10. I Will Give You Air, Ismim Putera

Poem of the Day

poet Oliver Wendell Holmes

Life is real, life is earnest,
And the shell is not its pen –
“Egg thou art, and egg remainest”
Was not spoken of the hen.

Art is long and Time is fleeting,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Sharon Olds

 

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Oh, the places you'll go!, Adens Kamwi
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
  9. Best Friend (In Hindi), Tavneet Singh
  10. And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]