You can read this poem here.
This is probably Tessimond’s most well-known and frequently-anthologised poem. It’s certainly the one that got me into his work. I found a copy of his complete works on a friend’s bookshelf and have now been “borrowing” it for quite some time… Tessimond Complete isn’t in print any more but you can buy various selecteds. Do. He has an eye for detail and a distinctive voice, and he notices things—things I’m glad to have brought to my attention, and things I too have noticed and wondered about.
This poem is so quietly clever: I love the way it disclaims the significance of ‘This’ love but, by the end, has demonstrated quite how utterly essential it is; for we cannot have ‘speech’ without ‘throat and tongue’. The poem’s vivid images of fear and struggle—’dark narrow places… nightmare faces… alien land… The whisperers at the corner of the street’—make it clear that life often doesn’t feel easy. But its simple, beautiful images for companionship, connection and accompaniment celebrate the power those things have to make life feel possible. More than possible, at times: ‘discoveries to be shared/Maps checked and notes compared’ suggest the joy of sharing and comparing experiences.
Hurrah for the loves which support us—wherever we find them, whatever we call them.