‘The Festival’ by Roy Fuller

‘The Festival’

by Roy Fuller

“The natives are singing by the shining arch
Whose whiteness breaks the gazing jewelled sky.
The skin is mirrors; march and counter-march
Display the painted feathers, dazzlingly
The curling snowy wool. The dancers shout,
The priests are gorgeous. The blue plain is dry.
Under the ritual robes the sores break out,
Concealed there are the scars and stumps of war.
The whole and dying move alike in rout:
And the most agile are the lepers or
Most lovely the disfigured; the deficient
Are priests, the temporal leaders, skilled in lore:
In general sloth evil alone efficient…”

You can read the complete poem here. Roy Fuller was born on this day in 1912, you can read more of his work through Surrey Libraries.

Want more? Take a look at our Words in Focus book, full of great work by Surrey Poets or come along to Farnham Library  on the 8th March for a night of T. S. Eliot poetry.

 

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