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Through A Window

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
"Look through any window (yeah), what do you see?" sang The Hollies in 1965, for those with long memories and/or gray hairs; and it got me thinking - so here is a little psychology test for you, gentle readers. When you visualise  through a window is it you doing the looking? or are you being observed? And if the gaze is yours, are you looking out or in?
Deep and meaningful stuff, eh? You can check out The Hollies' take in the YouTube link appended at the end of today's blog. They were typically looking out at the external world.
Sunlight streaming in through a window is one of my favorite sights. Without being too fanciful its quite a powerful (and romantic) image, as illustrated. I think it has to do with the source of life and light pouring into the (dark) soul. It doesn't work on gray and wet days - such as today!
Through A Window
Meanwhile, I'll confess I derive quite some fascination from looking briefly into windows as I go walkabout around Blackpool, not in any creepy voyeuristic way I hope you'll understand. Isn't it human nature to be curious? For me it's more an imaginative exercise, extrapolating from the occasional glimpse into someone's front room and speculating as to what sort of person or people might reside within and what their lives might be like. It's the wannabe novelist in me taking an interest in the unknown, keeping my powers of observation sharp and fueling invention.
I couldn't blog on this theme without mentioning defenestration, a mode of dispatch which intrigued me as a schoolboy studying European history - I think I was impressed that there was even a word for throwing people out of windows to their untimely death. It appears to have been particularly popular in Prague, with famous incidents occurring early in the 15th and 17th centuries; and then much more recently in 1948 when the Czech Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk was assassinated by being bundled out of a second-storey window at the Foreign Ministry clad only in his pyjamas, to die a death convenient to Moscow in the courtyard below.


Through A Window

Don't Throw It, Mrs!

Thankfully most incidents of defenestration don't involve bodies. It was common practice until only a couple of hundred years ago for people to throw their slops out of upper windows into the street below and in 1863 Russian soldiers hurled Frederic Chopin's grand piano out of a second-storey Warsaw window, an iconoclastic act during the suppression of the Polish uprising. (Chopin had long since ceased to have any use for the instrument - having died several years earlier.) Latterly, rock musicians have been known to pay tribute to the tradition by getting off their faces and hurling the contents of their hotel rooms (TV sets, chairs, anything sizeable enough to lift and fit through a window) down into the patio/pool/street below.
But enough of such foolishness. It was Mandy, I think, who requested that I shouldn't explain too much of the background to my poetry, thereby allowing the reader to come to the work with as open a mind as possible, so as to make of the poem what (s)he will. This, then, is my newly written through-a-window poem, based on an true event dating back forty-something summers.
Through A Window

Golden Square
Back of Fore Street, end of another
long, hot Devon summer day
and I'm sitting in my darkened room
rear window open wide to cool,
listening to a blackbird serenade
the slow-arriving night,
when a golden square of light
opens up across the way,
frames a girl dancing
naked in her bedroom,
to music that I cannot hear.
I try not to stare
but it's an enchanting sight
as unselfconsciously she twirls,
arms raised, smile on her face,
gyrating in her private fantasy.
I can't imagine I would ever
do the same, but is it so strange,
this unfettered expression
of freedom and delight?
The girl across the way
dances naked in her bedroom.
She doesn't think that anybody sees
the dark triangle in the golden square.
Either that,
or she's dancing just for me.
But I think her pleasure
is as innocent as mine
and the blackbird's serenade
and the humming
of a washing-machine
and the passage of time.
Click on the song title to hear the jingly-jangly joy of 1965-era Hollies: Look Through Any Window
Remembrance Sunday
 Thanks for reading and have a good week, S ;-) Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook

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