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Alfred Charles Tomlinson

Alfred Charles Tomlinson

Poet: Alfred Charles Tomlinson

Dates: 8 January 1927

Nationality: British

Title of Poem: All Afternoon

All afternoon the shadows have been building
A city of their own within the streets,
Carefully correcting the perspectives
With dark diagonals, and paring back
Sidewalks into catwalks, strips of bright
Companionways, as if it were a ship
This counter-city. But the leaning, black
Enjambements like ladders for assault
Scale the façade and tie them to the earth,
Confounding fire-escapes already meshed
In slatted ambiguities. You touch
The sliding shapes to find which place is which
And grime a finger with the ash of time
That blows through both, the shadow in the shade
And in the light, that scours each thoroughfare
To pit the walls, rise out of yard and stairwell
And tarnish the Chrysler’s Aztec pinnacle.


Brief Biography: Tomlinson is an academic and artist as well as a renowned poet and translator of Spanish, Russian and Italian poetry. He is married with two daughters and a granddaughter. Happy Birthday Sir!