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The Couple Upstairs by Kevin Higgins - Poetry Review

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by Juran Hakim (subscribe)
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Published June 21st 2014
Kevin Higgins
(Courtesy of

Four stanzas consisting of six lines grants this poem a structured aesthetic. Upon reading the prose the structure is confirmed more so since the narrative of the poem flows with ease and the conventions of a beginning, middle and end are shown.

The title, aptly named, delves into the typicality that may result in the 'rolling of eyes', but one that suggests the nuisances experienced upon being neighbour to a couple no less in love and infatuated with each other.

Moments though
when every sound upstairs
is sex: every rustle across a table-top
some ecstasy of underwear
whistling to the floor'

The tone being recognized as bordering on repugnance captures the mood of the poem, but in addition to this also tells a lot about the poet and his opinions and experiences; this being established with the lines:

You shudder at the thought of them
about to commit an unnatural act
on a Tuesday afternoon.'

Reading through the prose there is the sense of time passing and the acceptance of it, but with the absence of reluctance and foreboding, which in itself bestows the prose with a slight hint of omniscience; as if Kevin Higgins is foretelling the bypasses of what is in store for his or the readers future. Though in the last stanza an aching longing can be felt, especially within the latter lines, this yearning advocates a hidden regret.
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