Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"Automatic Doors"



Automatic Doors
By Paul Farley


When I see some kids springing the gallery doors
I lament the great revolvers. As we enter
a new era of doors, I can remember
the thrill involved, the stately, dumb inertia

at first, before they’d give, a slow surrender
to four heaving kids, storing our power,
a glass and darkwood turbine, now whatever
effort we put in, the doors would answer

as they gathered speed, until only a shoulder
nudge was needed (and though no passengers
were carried, now and then I’d grab the bar
and dangle in my quadrant). We’d spin for hours

or so it seem: we were time travelers
fast-forwarding ourselves into the future
before we were thrown out, into an era
of never even having to lift a finger.




This poem is taken from Paul Farley’s latest collection, out last year, Tramp in Flames.

He has already won quite a number of awards : the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 1998; the Forward Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award for an earlier collection, The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You; and Whitbread Poetry Prize for The Ice Age.

In this poem Farley recalls a time when there were “great revolvers”, those old-fashion revolving doors you find in grand old hotels, apartments or old buildings, which you have to push in order to get in from outside or the other way around. With “the new era of doors” the new doors would “spring” open when you get near them, because they are automatic.

Farley regrets the passing of those revolving relics, and remembers the excitement they could give. “stately, dumb inertia” recalls a slow moving and regal time, probably in Victorian or Edwardian days when trains revolved steam turbines, and ran carriages within which “passengers were carried”. See also “slow”, “heaving”, “power”, “effort”. Entering into “a new era”, these machines were replaced with faster ones (“fast-forwarding”, “thrown out”).

In the first line and first stanza Farley sees “some kids”. In the second line, a caesura or a pause marked by a full-stop in the middle signals a significant change, in time and in subject. He seems to have time-travelled back to being one of “four heaving kids” of the new subject “we”. The line appropriately and effectively runs-on at “enter”, into “a new era of doors”, in the next line.

In the last line of the first stanza we seem to have reached an end-stop with the last group of words “stately, dumb inertia”. However, reading on at the start of the next stanza reveals an extension to those words, so that “inertia” is really a run-on or enjambement, giving it a forward movement quite the opposite of the word’s connotation. The words towards which the run-on goes next sit in a new stanza, further heightening the run-on effect. These words, "at first", suggest that the object might be "slow" and "stately" initially but it can store power and gain speed.

The rhyming of “power” with “answer” makes one wonder if replacing with something more powerful is really the answer. Are we being precipitate (“fast-forwarding”) in rushing into a “future”, “a new era” in which everything is “automatic” and you don’t have to even have “to lift a finger”.

Labels: , ,

16 Comments:

Blogger bibliobibuli said...

i loved the magic of revolving doors too, although they scared me as i would always worry about being trapped in them! this poem has made me realise how rare they are now that we have those no-effort sliding doors

i love the image of the kids having fun and treating the door as a kind of roundabout, hanging off the bar once it gathered speed

and you talk about it very well, leon. another poet i have to explore!

7:19 AM, March 15, 2007  
Blogger bibliobibuli said...

second thought. the title of the poem is "automatic doors". funny, since he talks about revolving doors until the very end of the poem. by doing so he highlights the message of that ending. we've flung ourselves into a future where no effort is needed - and not just when it comes to doors.

7:40 AM, March 15, 2007  
Blogger Tunku Halim said...

Those revolving doors were great fun for us kids. These new ones are so boring and need electricity too...

1:54 PM, March 16, 2007  
Blogger dreamer idiot said...

I don't really mind automatic doors, especially after I've trudged sweatily from the heat outside to be welcomed by the opened doors of cool air-conditioned air... then again, there's that charm about the pushing through the whirling revolving doors, as if one were being conveyed or channeled through space...

Leon's noting of the change in how some children becomes "we" in the poem is interesting. It speaks of a generational change from the past and present... and as far as the 'fast-forwarding' goes, I do feel nostalgic at times.

3:08 PM, March 16, 2007  
Blogger bibliobibuli said...

you're too young by far to be able to feel nostalgic, DI

i am allowed to feel it - especially when i can remember spending pennies with the picture of queen victoria on them!!

9:28 PM, March 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your views with us. I think now I have a strong hold over the topic after going through the post. I will surely come back for more information.Please gone through my site also.http://www.westlondonshopfronts.co.uk
Automatic Door London

7:16 PM, June 20, 2013  
Blogger Roller Shutters said...

Thanks for sharing your views with us. I think now I have a strong hold over the topic after going through the post. I will surely come back for more information.
automatic doors London

7:36 PM, June 20, 2013  
Blogger Roller Shutters said...

Thanks for sharing your views with us. I think now I have a strong hold over the topic after going through the post. I will surely come back for more information.
automatic doors London

7:37 PM, June 20, 2013  
Blogger sharma ashish said...

Hi, The topic that you have discussed in the post is very nice, I think now I have a strong hold over the topic after going through the post. I will surely come back for more information. shopfronts london

8:44 PM, June 24, 2013  
Blogger Elisa Jed said...

The revolving door did have its merits. I have never felt that the automatic doors were undeserving though. They make it convenient when you have a lot in your hands. The poem was excellent.

Elisa Jed | http://www.allied-door.com

8:19 PM, August 29, 2014  
Blogger Jamal Owens said...

I think one of the coolest inventions ever is the automatic door. Not only is it super convenient, but it makes you feel so cool that doors are opening just for you. I would love to get some automatic doors installed in my home.

http://www.platinumautodoors.com.au

7:31 AM, October 16, 2014  
Blogger Jagjit Singh said...

Hello all newbies, how are you all. I am Prince Charming. Nice to meet all of you. I am an Artist. I love to meet new people as well as making new friends. I like to watch new Hollywood Movies as well as Bollywood Movies and want to know about them as more as possible. You can watch this Movie with go to this link :

http://www.furious7fullmovie.com/

8:16 PM, February 04, 2015  
Blogger Adam Walkner said...

I am very big fan of Paul Walker. I am very sad after his untimely Death. But i am waiting for his last Movie Fast & Furious 7, which is coming in March 2015.

http://www.furious7iwannawatch.tumblr.com/

7:15 PM, February 12, 2015  
Blogger Adam Walkner said...

Paul Walker was an American Actor. He began his Carrier best Guest - Starring in Several Television Shows such as the Young and the Rastless as well as Touched by an Angel. Paul Walker has given Number of awesome Movies and this will be his Last Movie for his Fans. That's name is Fast & Furious 7, which is coming in March 2015.

http://furious7onlinefree.blogspot.com/
http://furious7fullmovie.blogspot.com/
https://furiousseven.wordpress.com/
https://plus.google.com/110840266038990476659/posts/EZax8vLWdKj
https://www.pinterest.com/jagjitsingh537/
http://furious7fullmovieonlinefree.weebly.com/
https://storify.com/adamwalkner/the-solid-of-the-fast-and-furious-7
http://articles.pubarticles.com/how-to-old-statements-vs-new-statements-on-furious-7-1425032420,1506904.html
http://goarticles.com/article/Quick-Summary-and-Working-Links/9940250/
http://tweetvite.com/event/7f7

6:28 PM, March 02, 2015  
Blogger Adam Walkner said...

Paul Walker was an American Actor. He began his Carrier best Guest - Starring in Several Television Shows such as the Young and the Rastless as well as Touched by an Angel. Paul Walker has given Number of awesome Movies and this will be his Last Movie for his Fans. That's name is Fast & Furious 7, which is coming in March 2015.

http://www.academia.edu/10223532/Watch_Furious_7_From_www.watchfurious7.com
https://watchfurious7.wordpress.com/
https://myspace.com/watchfurious7/bio
https://www.pinterest.com/watchfurious7/
http://watchfurious7onlinefree.weebly.com/
http://www.slideshare.net/jimmysehu/documents

6:14 PM, March 10, 2015  
Blogger Clifford Baker said...

Automatic garage doors are better than old revolving garage doors. They are very easy to operate with the help of mobile application and are highly secured.
http://www.automaticdoorspecialists.com/garage-door-opener/

8:18 PM, September 01, 2016  

Post a Comment

<< Home