View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
17 July 2014

“The rehabilitation of the muse“: a poem by Joe Dunthorne

By Joe Dunthorne

I found the guy who inspired your famous poem,
asked him to remove his shades so that I too might bathe
in his “flooded showrooms” but he must get that all the time.

He picked up pace as I tracked him through town.
The damp on his back evoked “the shadow of the A bomb”
but smaller in real life. Disappointment is also an epiphany,

I reassured him. He seemed uncertain but took off his bins,
fixed me with his prize-winners. Only polite to open
                my notebook.
Happy now? he asked, with intonation not worth recording.

A lesser poet might have lost hope. But his sleek hair
had grown since you two met and I watched him tie it up.
Jackpot. You can call it beginner’s luck. His top knot struck oil.

Joe Dunthorne is the author of two novels, Submarine and Wild Abandon. A collection of his poems was published in the Faber New Poets series in 2010.

Content from our partners
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health
How can we deliver better rail journeys for customers?

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.