Shine On You Crazy Diamond

And so they shone, every one of them,
each crazy, everyone a diamond shining
the way things shine, each becoming a gleam
in his own eyes, deep in the satin lining
of their own jackets, and it was no dream
just a momentary forgetfulness, a nothing
like nothing on earth: Apollinaire’s diadem,
a star-shaped, sudden, silent mouthing.

And they were there, vanished as if forever.
And we were there and saw them in the flesh
with skeletal faces, their hair in long rivers
of black, their eyes deep coals and ash,
and this was memory or its imagining,
ourselves as light as if forever spinning.


's many books of poetry have won various prizes including the T. S. Eliot Prize (2004), for which he is again shortlisted for Bad Machine (2013). His translation of László Krasznahorkai's Satantango (2013) was awarded the Best Translated Book Award in the US. The act of translation is, he thinks, bound to involve fidelity, ambiguity, confusion and betrayal.