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I build castles in the air May 31, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Dreams, Wordy Business.
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Years ago, I picked up a tome in a bookstore. A weighty beast, this book was crammed with scraps, and doodles, fragments of thoughts. It was a mishmash of one collector’s life, colour jostling with black and white, page after page of shapes and sounds and recollections. The hard back covers fell open in my hands, the flicking pages raising questions – what is the art of looking sideways, do androids dream of electric sheep?

The page it settled on, however, was just a poem. Black text on yellow paper. Simple, unassuming, perhaps not technically brilliant. A poem that now, nearly 10 years later, I can still recall, I hope with a good level of accuracy. With apologies to the author if I have remixed his words, that beautiful elegant simple poem went something akin to the following:

There was a fence with spaces

You could look through if you wanted to

An architect who saw this thing

Stood there one summer evening

Took out the spaces with great care

And built a castle in the air

The fence was utterly dumfounded

Each post stood there with nothing round it.

Some days I feel like that fence. Like someone’s come along and taken something vital without me even knowing what. I feel like I stand there in complete isolation, yet like at the same time I am some bit part of a magical castle hanging in the sky. You can’t see it, but it’s there.

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