Poetry – “Tonight at Noon” – by Adrian Henri

This is one of my favourite poems. ?I love the backwardness of it, the amazing world it suggests, and how it makes you think about the absurdity of situations/events.
You will tell me you love me Tonight at noon” – I love the doomed romance of this – tonight can not happen?at noon,?therefore it’s impossible to declare their love. But in the context of this backwards world, it could happen, the sheer hope despite everything that it will – that’s what love is, hope.
the dead will quietly bury the living” is haunting – it’s the ‘quietly’ that?makes that line for me…

You read it once and might enjoy it, but each time you re-read you find a whole new world. Each line is a whole story in itself.


Tonight at Noon
A Poem by Adrian Henri

Tonight at noon
Supermarkets will advertise 3p extra on everything
Tonight at noon
Children from happy families will be sent to live in a home
Elephants will tell each other human jokes
America will declare peace on Russia
World War I generals will sell poppies on the street on November 11th
The first daffodils of autumn will appear
When the leaves fall upwards to the trees

Tonight at noon
Pigeons will hunt cats through city backyards
Hitler will tell us to fight on the beaches and on the landing fields
A tunnel full of water will be built under Liverpool
Pigs will be sighted flying in formation over Woolton
And Nelson will not only get his eye back but his arm as well
White Americans will demonstrate for equal rights
In front of the Black house
And the monster has just created Dr. Frankenstein

Girls in bikinis are moonbathing
Folksongs are being sung by real folk
Art galleries are closed to people over 21
Poets get their poems in the Top 20
There’s jobs for everybody and nobody wants them
In back alleys everywhere teenage lovers are kissing in broad daylight
In forgotten graveyards everywhere the dead will quietly bury the living
You will tell me you love me
Tonight at noon

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