Window University of Essex, 2017, Photograph: Gillian Lock-Bowen
Further to the thoughts I listed in my previous blog (20/01/17) which attempt to explain my response to visiting the campus of my first university – from a psychogeoraphical perspective – I decided to respond to those ideas in the form of a poem.
This afternoon, I wrote the poem which follows in less than 10 minutes – like a stream of consciousness it is a collection of impressions of my early days as an undergraduate on the campus at Essex University in the mid 1980s.
Psychogeography – first walk across the Campus
People crossed the numbered Squares appearing to have intent
I too kept walking
Aware of the Titled doors sweeping open and closing like exterior lungs
Propelling people into and out from secret warrens of knowledge.
Behind the doors, pigeon holes empty, or dipping with uncollected mail –
Not back yet, collected, just empty?
The Hex – long queue, multiple voices – questions what and where and when and who?
A bustling space – between bustling spaces –
between fierce, protective Brutalist walls.
The Library – silence, concentration, catalogues, floors –
walk between, or ride the Paternoster lift, to
row upon row of solid, dark shelves and numerical systems;
Seek and find books and journals, new and old
containing numerous traces of bold ideas – hypothesis then theory.
Fascination rippling outward making new connections –
Rabbit holes opening, time ticking…
Views across the Lake, trees beyond, Canada geese
Walking in slow motion in gaggle formation, cumbersome steps
Then necks bent plucking in synchronisation
Like their possessive Theropod ancestors before them
Book lists, Lecture Theatres, intense Tutorials –
Reading at pace, analysis, vivid vocabulary.
Harvard citation whenever A argued against B’s hypothesis, following C ‘s exposition since D’s redefinition of …
Banners and protests, boycotts and rallies – urgency.
Questioning, deconstructing, evaluating, reframing, resistance, self-determination…
Essex University Albert Slowman Library