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Angel of the North

A poet named this new colossus.
The service station told me, "You can't miss it."
Miles away, it seemed less than a pylon.

The traffic slowed, we all crept past it,
My eye only partially aligning the car,
Partially taking cognizance of the movement
Of this significant being's massive wings,
And as I went on into Newcastle
I watched it hold the sky behind,
Through driving mirrors realigned.

The birds were shitting on it gleefully.
It had been rusted artificially.
The men were finishing it from scaffolding.
It was causing car crashes every day
While people slowed to stare, or photograph -
Police policing it, at their wits' end.

I had to see the Angel to know
That the North abides within me.
I had to see the Angel, and come back
To Scotland, cured and reconciled.
A pilgrimage of place is also one of time
(The Angel of the North is art).

It's this huge image, monster wearing travel wings,
One saga, seen from many angles,
Whole and tranquil, meaning many things.

Angel of the North


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Photographs: Gerald England, 2000.

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This page last updated: 10th January 2010.