Friday, 10 June 2016

Географията/The geography


From another side of Europe,
intimations of how we might
fit in. And there, yes,
the suggestion of sap rising
and rain coming down.

In the early nineteenth-century,
John Smith, picture dealer,
took ship for St Petersburg,
spent guineas he’d earned
from sales of gilt.

For him, the continent
was an opportunity.
He took it – and thrived,
named his house for the town
in Holland where he apprenticed.

And then on to Russia
and The Hermitage,
ahead of his time
and the geography.

Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips

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