Londoners lie under London, incubating
A different energy, a different life.
Round the corner the artist watches,
Jotting notes on an envelope.
To have drawn from life would be like
Sketching in the hold of a slave ship.
Not the Cockney wags of legend, but huge
Muffled forms, trussed and bandaged
Like Lazarus. Wood and stone,
As well as bones and veins, wait inside
These vast vulnerabilities.
From their coding, we can construe
Houses falling, bridges falling, London falling,
Civilisations falling down. The artist
Must show this without saying. Just
His sketchbook's sotto-voce. Abstractish figures shelter background,
And Try white again then scramble greyish over."
from Underground (on Henry Moore's 'A Shelter Sketchbook') U. A. Fanthorpe