i.m. Michael Donaghy
(after Horace Ode 1:24 Quis desiderio)
There’s competition for elegy
and why not for this much loved poet,
called to sing by the Muse of Tragedy
too long before his time? But then that’s fate.
Not even Michael’s creative wit,
his warmth and care for fellow poets
could conjure a way out of this one.
All who knew him grieve and weep: he lit
our rooms. You, Simon, aim to recall light:
with your Patent and try to make
everlasting bulbs; dull the sun.
But light can’t fill a Jupiter shape.
Might Michael illuminate death for our sake
if we work into the night?
1. Michael Donaghy was an accomplished musician as well as a poet.
2. Simon Armitage’s poem, ‘Patent’, is in memory of Michael Donaghy.
3. One of Michael Donaghy’s collections is called Conjure.