From The Dali Poems
THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY 1931
It has been said that a melting Camembert
cheese wheel inspired Salvador Dali’s
painting “The Persistence of Memory.”
A Camembert wheel from yesterday’s lunch
has been left on the back garden table.
How helpless it looks,
all white and soft and runny,
drooping sadly over
the metal table’s noon-hot edge.
The cruelty of August’s sun
has spoiled the cheese that only yesterday
was round and full of flavour
like a clock face full of meaning and hope,
and the possibilities
of what time could bring.
I touch the ruined cheese
that I will never taste,
now sticky and smelly,
useless as a melted clock
that has lost all time,
lost, like the good strong flavour
of this forgotten cheese
rotting in the sun.
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