Click "Read more" for the text.


I studied Philosophy at the University of Reading. fascinating days. I remember being very irritated by this Descartes chap - especially the bit where he ties himself in knots about whether animals have souls or not - and it made me so cross that I even wrote a poem about it.

Here's the text:

Method of Doubt

All the sky out of every window is a postcard;

Flat; oh, beautiful colours, yes; wispy white, celeste,

But it isn't there really. Would it matter?

The blue is a freak chance of spectrum science,

Water droplets give form to the arcane (and, sometimes,

a rainbow. Which we accept).

All our friends are puppets – large-headed

Caricatures, and everyone, in fact, a stuffed sock

With a papier-mâché face. Would it matter?

Their jobs, they fell into, their characters moulded

By punishment and lures; let's think about it -

Blow out the candles and make a wish.

I wish .....

And children can imagine landscapes in the

Creases and folds of the most ordinary bedclothes,

And science can inform our vacuity, put

Somethings into empty space and - hey presto -

make it disappear again.

I live in a beautiful place. Its famous spires

Grace the view from any hillside; deciduous and conifer

(To coin a phrase) (To make an artificial light)

Can blaze, or simply, glumly, or pacifically gaze on

Passing centuries and phases, and the latest crazes,

And tortuous mazes of one thing inside another, and

meditate on chickens and on eggs, Matryoshkas and Einsteins,

And all the sky out of every window

Is a cardboard cut-out, and all my pets are

Complicated robots: heart, blood, lungs and

Little clockwork personalities – Ain't that right, René?


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