Bat

Original Text: 
D. H. Lawrence, Birds, Beasts and Flowers: Poems (London: Martin Secker, 1923): 100-02. PR 6023 A93B5 1923 Robarts Library. Roberts A27.
1At evening, sitting on this terrace,
3Departs, and the world is taken by surprise ...
4When the tired flower of Florence is in gloom beneath the glowing
5Brown hills surrounding ...
7A green light enters against stream, flush from the west,
9Look up, and you see things flying
10Between the day and the night;
11Swallows with spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together.
12A circle swoop, and a quick parabola under the bridge arches
13Where light pushes through;
14A sudden turning upon itself of a thing in the air.
15A dip to the water.
16And you think:
17"The swallows are flying so late!"
18Swallows?
19Dark air-life looping
20Yet missing the pure loop ...
21A twitch, a twitter, an elastic shudder in flight
23Like a glove, a black glove thrown up at the light,
24And falling back.
25Never swallows!
26Bats!
27The swallows are gone.
28At a wavering instant the swallows gave way to bats
29By the Ponte Vecchio ...
30Changing guard.
31Bats, and an uneasy creeping in one's scalp
32As the bats swoop overhead!
33Flying madly.
35Black piper on an infinitesimal pipe.
36Little lumps that fly in air and have voices indefinite, wildly vindictive;
37Wings like bits of umbrella.
38Bats!
39Creatures that hang themselves up like an old rag, to sleep;
40And disgustingly upside down.
41Hanging upside down like rows of disgusting old rags
42And grinning in their sleep.
43Bats!
44Not for me!

Notes

2] Carrara: city in Tuscany, north-central Italy. Back to Line
6] Ponte Vecchio: "old bridge," an arch bridge built in 1345 over the Arno river in Florence. Back to Line
8] Arno: Florence is the only feasible north-south crossing of this, the major river of the Tuscany region in Italy. Back to Line
22] serrated: notched. Back to Line
34] Pipistrello!: `bat' (Italian). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1922
Publication Notes: 
English Review 35 (Nov. 1922): 381-85. Roberts C98
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.
Form: