upholds the permanently ricketty elaborate structures of living
June 1, 2022 7:46 AM   Subscribe

"And maintenance is the sensible side of love / Which knows what time and weather are doing / To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring..." from U. A. Fanthorpe's poem "Atlas". "and I realise that, without me asking / you've stopped what you were doing / to take him outside, so he can continue playing / and I can have a quiet house for my call" -- from a comic by Jordan Bolton, part of Scenes from Imagined Films Issue #1.
posted by brainwane (9 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, brainwane - that comic is really lovely, and this is a wonderful pairing.

Thank you for posting these, as one. I'm glad to be able to sit with these all day today.
posted by kristi at 8:07 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]

Really nice! Here's the full poem, in case others have trouble with the first link as I did:

There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.

UA Fanthorpe, from Safe as Houses (Peterloo Poets, 1995)
posted by evilmomlady at 8:59 AM on June 1 [11 favorites]

It is my wedding anniversary today and UA Fanthorpe is one of my favourite poets, so this feels like a very special serendipity.
posted by plonkee at 9:06 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]

Happy anniversary, plonkee!!! I hope you are experiencing many kinds of love and that maintenance is one of them. Can you recommend any other Fanthorpe poems you like?

(I also belatedly realized I ought to add the "EmotionalLabor" tag to this post, and did so.)
posted by brainwane at 9:14 AM on June 1

Lovely comic. Feeling all of this today. Thanks for this!
posted by bleep at 9:53 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]

Willing to take a beating as an absolute grinch for this, but goodness does the comic suffer in comparison to the poem imo.
posted by ominous_paws at 12:22 PM on June 1

I enjoyed both, but the comic made me cry. This is a beautiful pairing, thank you.
posted by andreapandrea at 3:11 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]

In the comic "Range Life" that spare illustration of the light from the window painted on the wall... it's evocative. How? Why? People who know about visual art - what is it doing and why is it evocative?
posted by brainwane at 2:26 AM on June 7

There's a quiet. peaceful vibe about that panel for sure, which I guess helps to invoke the moment of contemplation the strip's narrator is experiencing at that point. Perhaps because a window's projection on to a blank wall is the sort of thing we notice only when we're in that moment of contemplation ourselves?

The colour choices throughout the strip reinforce this atmosphere too.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:24 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]

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