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A Martian Sends A Postcard Home Explication

6 Pages 1520 Words

"A Martian Sends a Postcard Home"

Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings
and some are treasured for their markings –

They cause the eyes to melt
or the body to shriek without pain.

I have never seen one fly, but
sometimes they perch on the hand.

Mist is when the sky is tired of flight
and rests its soft machine on ground:

Then the world is dim and bookish
like engravings under tissue paper.

Rain is when the earth is televison.
It has the property of making colours darker.

Model T is a room with the lock inside -
a key is turned to free the world

for movement, so quick there is a film
to watch for anything missed.

But time is tied to the wrist
or kept in a box, ticking with impatience.

In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps,
that snores when you pick it up.

If the ghost cries, they carry it
to their lips and soothe it to sleep

with sounds. And yet they wake it up
deliberately, by tickling with a finger.

Only the young are allowed to suffer
openly. Adults go to a punishment room

with water but nothing to eat.
They lock the door and suffer the noises

alone. No one is exempt
and everyone's pain has a different smell.

At night when all the colours die,
they hide in pairs

and read about themselves
in colour, with their eyelids shut.

-- Craig Raine

Craig Raine
Born in 1945 in County Durham located North of England. He graduated from Oxford, and afterwards, he was appointed as lecturer there. Much of his work is designed to help the reader to see the world from a fresh point of view. His poetry is flamboyant, self conscious, and witty.

"A Martian Sends a Postcard Home" is a poem with seven ten stanzas. All of the stanzas have two lines identified, as a couplet even though the poem does not have a regular correspondence of sounds recognized as ryhme. The reading of poem is tricky at first; I had the impression that the title was literally me...

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