“Sundays, like a stanza break”: Glyn Maxwell’s “Museum”

For reasons I can’t really explain, I’ve been looking for poems about dinosaurs. Surprisingly, they’re tricky to find, but in my search I ran across this little gem by British poet and playwright Glyn Maxwell. It’s not abut dinosaurs, but it’s still delightful.

It’s too short — only one sentence — to quote without giving away the store, so please head on over to poets.org to have a look.

And let me know if you know a good dinosaur poem, won’t you?

13 thoughts on ““Sundays, like a stanza break”: Glyn Maxwell’s “Museum”

  1. There are lots of great dinosaur rhymes in kids books! The Dinosaur Rumpus come to mind. But that’s probably not quite what you’re looking for. Your son might like it, though. 🙂

  2. OK, I read this one three times, but I don’t really understand it. Sometimes I think I’m dense when it comes to poetry. I think I get the first lines, but then the rest of it loses me.

    • You’re not dense! Often the shortest poems are the trickiest. Here we have a smattering of people (like the blank space between stanzas, the sporadic clapping at the end of a round of applause) visiting a museum on Sunday, when they’re often not too busy. I think it may be implied that the reason museums are dead on Sundays is that people are in church. So, these few “optimists” — maybe because they have faith in the progress that a museum implies? — are lonely in the way that God would be among dinosaurs.

    • No doubt — I’m actually looking for adult poems, because I’ve been reading lots of animal poems lately — quite a large poetic sub-genre — but I’ve been surprised that it’s hard to find ones about dinosaurs.

  3. I liked this poem even though I didn’t quite understand it and I like it even better now that you have given it some context.

  4. I’m curious as to your take on the 2nd line “Or shower’s end of all applause.” I first read it as “shower” (as in the opposite of a bath) but I think he’s playing on the word show, and thus “shower” is one who shows. That seems to line up with reference to the end of applause. I’m wondering is “shower” is idiomatic to British English? Or is he coining a word, à la Hopkins?

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