Greenpoint, October, 2015

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We Walk on the Grass

Stevie Smith's "The Pleasures of Friendship," brings a rare exclamation point to our summer series Poetry or Motion. And, as always with Stevie Smith, the question of tone. Mind how you walk.

The pleasures of friendship are exquisite,
How pleasant to go to a friend on a visit!
I go to my friend, we walk on the grass,
And the hours and minutes like moments pass.
Bryant Park (June 2014)


  1. This is lovely. Let's give Stevie a break and imagine she was letting her guard down to an uncharacteristic degree, and simply showing what a dear and decent person she was, "at heart" as they say.

    But I can't help myself from wanting to make that last line say,

    And the moments like interminable hours pass.

    (The ghost of Stevie made me do it.)

    But no -- the leisurely do-nothingism of the hours pleasantly passing, there, on the grass, in the summertime, in Bryant Park, seems a sort of infinite inevitable desideratum, exactly the sort Stevie probably had in mind.

  2. Tom,
    I love both endings to the poem--yours and Stevie's. Going back to the poem, I am struck by the wonderful weirdness of "hours and MINUTES like moments pass." I lazily think of minutes as synonymous with moments, but of course they are not. Ah poetry, ah precision!