Just read a fantastic poem by A.S. Byatt in The New Yorker of April 6th, “Trench Names.” Byatt thanks Peter Chasseaud, and a quick search finds his blog: “Peter Chasseaud: Landscape, Air Photos, Trench Maps.” Oddly enough for someone in the visual arts, it’s white text on black so a bit hard to read, but who needs words when the pictures have so much in them.
Anyway, here’s the third and fourth verses of Byatt’s poem, go forth and read the rest:
The sunken roads were numbered at the start.
A chequer board. But men are poets, and names
Are Adam’s heritage, and English men
Imposed a ghostly English map on French
Crushed ruined harvests and polluted streams.
So here run Piccadilly, Regent Street,
Oxford Street, Bond Street, Tothill Fields, Tower Bridge,
And Kentish places, Dover, Tunbridge Wells,
Entering wider hauntings, resonant,
The Boggart Hole, Bleak House, Deep Doom and Gloom.