This poem by Andrew Motion was inspired by a Thomas Jones painting in London's National Gallery in which Motion reflects upon the enduring value of artistic creation.

A Wall in Naples


Do the Preparation task first. Then go to Text and read the poem or story (you can also listen to the audio while you read). Next go to Task and do the activity.

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A Wall in Naples

by Andrew Motion

I have forgotten whatever it was
I wanted to say. Also the way I wanted
to say it. Form and Music.

Perhaps it had something to do with - no,
that's not it. More likely, I should just
look at whatever there is

and fix myself to the earth. This wall,
I mean, which faces me over the street.
Smooth as a shaven chin

but pocked with the holes that scaffolders left
and flicked with an overflow-flag. Which still
leaves pigeon-shit, rain-streaks, washing -

or maybe the whole thing's really a board
where tiny singing meteors strike.
How can we tell what is true? I rest my case.

I rest my case and cannot imagine a hunger
greater than this. For marks.
For messages sent by hand. For signs of life.


Task 2

Complete the gaps with a word from the top to make a summary of the text.






What does the rain streaks mean ?

Hello Bishnu sharma,

I think the poet is referring to the stains or marks that rain can leave on a wall, i.e. the changes in colour that the humidity of the rain can produce in the wall.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Adam!
Could you explain some sentences in above poem like; I rest my case. Fix myself to the earth. which faces me over the street and the last whole paragraph. Thanks so much for your always cooperation.

Hello Omer Gul,

'I rest my case' is an expression lawyers traditionally use when they have finished explaining their case. But we also use it to say that something that just happened proves that we were right about something. In this case, I suppose the poet means that all of his observations prove that it is difficult to say what is true (but I'm not sure).

When he says 'fix myself to the earth', I think he means not get too philosophical or abstract. 'which faces me over the street' seems to refer to the wall -- in other words the poet sees it across the street from him. As I understand it, the last section of the poem is about him wanting to understand by seeing signs, i.e. his want to understand is like a hunger.

I hope this helps you!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Too much yellow
I thought in the first time
Then I realized the small things on it
The feeling, the care,
the sensations behind the yellow
How a single kiss could show that?
Maybe the simplicity of flowers
Or those asymmetrical rectangles
I will never know
The only thing I know
when I see that kiss
Is I just want to be there, to be they

Love is as like a spring,
it made a flower from the thorn .
It would dedicate a life to the stone.
Made too the bird beautiful

by Ercin Vohidov.i tried to translate from uzbek into english, if some mistakes, apologize to me,
to be continued

One day I will send you in a lonely island and I will tell you a story.
A story that know only me and no other.
A girl had lived there before and her story had carved in a stone.
A boy, had loved her before but this the boy had not known never.
Every night she sweared the god that one day boy will fall in love with her.
But he that thing does not understand given her only pain.


Hi, i am pankaj kumar singh from ' india ' and listen every brodcast and from this i am improved my english thanks.....

Water I was
I was the blue, the green and gold
I was the movement in the oil.
I was the quite the deeply light, the silence
and the beginning of the time.
He was a soul and not a man
He was an eye...
A big blue eye
A spirit free an everlasting mind
The space I touched with watery heart
My soul I saw... water I was.