With a change of government the haze of wide rain
which you begin to hear as the ruler hears the crowd
gathering under the balcony, the leader who has promised
the permanent cobalt of a change of government
with the lilac and violet of his cabinet’s change.
I couldn’t resist posting this today. It’s from Walcott’s new collection White Egrets, which contains poems for and about Barack Obama, so he was clearly thinking of the US election, but it’s a pretty good fit for this weekend in the UK, even down to the rain I can see out of my window. And the crowd under the balcony instantly conjures up the TV pictures from Greece.
I guess the lines are so easily applicable because they have that Audenesque quality of including generic nouns (‘the leader’, ‘the balcony’, ‘a change of government’) while having concrete-but-not-specific description (‘a haze of wide rain’) that gives it a gloss of realism without the photographic detail that would anchor it in one place and time more than another.