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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:05 pm 
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In Tudor mode this week, thanks to Hilary Mantel (see poetic prose thread)


Whoso List to Hunt

Sir Thomas Wyatt

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,

But as for me, alas, I may no more;

The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,

I am of them that furthest come behind.

Yet may I by no means my wearied mind

Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore

Fainting I follow; I leave off therefore,

Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.

Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,

As well as I, may spend his time in vain.

And graven with diamonds in letters plain,

There is written her fair neck round about,

'Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,

And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.'



A brief article on Wyatt's life: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksbl ... omas-wyatt


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:28 am 
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A painfully sad poem, this - just warning you

Putting Down the Cat
by Billy Collins

The assistant holds her on the table,
the fur hanging limp from her tiny skeleton,
and the veterinarian raises the needle of fluid
which will put the line through her ninth life.

"Painless," he reassures me, "like counting
backwards from a hundred," but Iwant to tell him
that our poor cat cannot count at all,
much less backwards, much less to a hundred.

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:20 am 
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Here's another on the death of a cat:

On The Death Of A Favourite Cat, Drowned In A Tub Of Gold Fishes



'Twas on a lofty vase's side,
Where China's gayest art had dyed
The azure flowers that blow,
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima, reclined,
Gazed on the lake below.

Her conscious tail her joy declared;
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw; and purred applause.

Still had she gazed; but 'midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The genii of the stream:
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
Through richest purple to the view
Betrayed a golden gleam.

The hapless nymph with wonder saw:
A whisker first, and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish,
She stretched, in vain, to reach the prize.
What female heart can gold despise?
What cat's averse to fish?

Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
Again she stretched, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between:
(Malignant Fate sat by, and smiled)
The slippery verge her feet beguiled,
She tumbled headlong in.

Eight times emerging from the flood
She mewed to ev'ry wat'ry god
Some speedy aid to send.
No dolphin came, no nereid stirred;
Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard.
A fav'rite has no friend!

From hence, ye beauties undeceived,
Know, one false step is ne'er retrieved,
And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wand'ring eyes
And heedless hearts is lawful prize;
Nor all that glisters, gold.


Thomas Gray


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:34 am 
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And another, a reward for Ray who put me on to the Mantel talk!


A Case Of Murder

They should not have left him there alone,
Alone that is except for the cat.
He was only nine, not old enough
To be left alone in a basement flat,
Alone, that is, except for the cat.
A dog would have been a different thing,
A big gruff dog with slashing jaws,
But a cat with round eyes mad as gold,
Plump as a cushion with tucked-in paws---
Better have left him with a fair-sized rat!
But what they did was leave him with a cat.
He hated that cat; he watched it sit,
A buzzing machine of soft black stuff,
He sat and watched and he hated it,
Snug in its fur, hot blood in a muff,
And its mad gold stare and the way it sat
Crooning dark warmth: he loathed all that.
So he took Daddy's stick and he hit the cat.
Then quick as a sudden crack in glass
It hissed, black flash, to a hiding place
In the dust and dark beneath the couch,
And he followed the grin on his new-made face,
A wide-eyed, frightened snarl of a grin,
And he took the stick and he thrust it in,
Hard and quick in the furry dark.
The black fur squealed and he felt his skin
Prickle with sparks of dry delight.
Then the cat again came into sight,
Shot for the door that wasn't quite shut,
But the boy, quick too, slammed fast the door:
The cat, half-through, was cracked like a nut
And the soft black thud was dumped on the floor.
Then the boy was suddenly terrified
And he bit his knuckles and cried and cried;
But he had to do something with the dead thing there.
His eyes squeezed beads of salty prayer
But the wound of fear gaped wide and raw;
He dared not touch the thing with his hands
So he fetched a spade and shovelled it
And dumped the load of heavy fur
In the spidery cupboard under the stair
Where it's been for years, and though it died
It's grown in that cupboard and its hot low purr
Grows slowly louder year by year:
There'll not be a corner for the boy to hide
When the cupboard swells and all sides split
And the huge black cat pads out of it.


Vernon Scannell


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:21 am 
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I love it! The Tell-Tale Heart for children? :D

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:06 pm 
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And brilliant with metaphor and simile! I use this with second form pupils. They love it.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Here's another:


Esther's Tomcat

Ted Hughes


Daylong this tomcat lies stretched flat
As an old rough mat, no mouth and no eyes.
Continual wars and wives are what
Have tattered his ears and battered his head.


Like a bundle of old rope and iron
Sleeps till blue dusk. Then reappear
His eyes, green as ringstones: he yawns wide red,
Fangs fine as a lady's needle and bright.


A tomcat sprang at a mounted knight,
Locked round his neck like a trap of hooks
While the knight rode fighting its clawing and bite.
After hundreds of years the stain's there


On the stone where he fell, dead of the tom:
That was at Barnborough. The tomcat still
Grallochs odd dogs on the quiet,
Will take the head clean off your simple pullet.


Is unkillable. From the dog's fury,
From gunshot fired point-blank he brings
His skin whole, and whole
From owlish moons of bekittenings


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Another cat poem, another Hughes...

The jaguar


The apes yawn and adore their fleas in the sun.
The parrots shriek as if they were on fire, or strut
Like cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut.
Fatigued with indolence, tiger and lion

Lie still as the sun. The boa-constrictor’s coil
Is a fossil. Cage after cage seems empty, or
Stinks of sleepers from the breathing straw.
It might be painted on a nursery wall.

But who runs like the rest past these arrives
At a cage where the crowd stands, stares, mesmerized,
As a child at a dream, at a jaguar hurrying enraged
Through prison darkness after the drills of his eyes

On a short fierce fuse. Not in boredom—
The eye satisfied to be blind in fire,
By the bang of blood in the brain deaf the ear—
He spins from the bars, but there’s no cage to him

More than to the visionary his cell:
His stride is wildernesses of freedom:
The world rolls under the long thrust of his heel.
Over the cage floor the horizons come.

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Nice one!


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:21 pm 
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POSTED BY RAY


I still have a load of the comics, yellowed a bit with age now but still pretty good. I'm going to retrieve them from the attic. Spidey was my fave, until my teens when of course I had to go all brooding and sullen Batman.

Kid
by Simon Armitage

Batman, big shot, when you gave the order
to grow up, then let me loose to wander
leeward, freely through the wild blue yonder
as you liked to say, or ditched me, rather,
in the gutter ... well, I turned the corner.
Now I've scotched that 'he was like a father
to me' rumour, sacked it, blown the cover
on that 'he was like an elder brother'
story, let the cat out on that caper
with the married woman, how you took her
downtown on expenses in the motor.
Holy robin-redbreast-nest-egg-shocker!
Holy roll-me-over-in the-clover,
I'm not playing ball boy any longer
Batman, now I've doffed that off-the-shoulder
Sherwood-Forest-green and scarlet number
for a pair of jeans and crew-neck jumper;
now I'm taller, harder, stronger, older.
Batman, it makes a marvellous picture:
you without a shadow, stewing over
chicken giblets in the pressure cooker,
next to nothing in the walk-in larder
punching the palm of your hand all winter,
you baby, now I'm the real boy wonder.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:11 pm 
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You poetry peeps may be interested in this.

Faber are making a recording of sixty poems available for free download, to mark National Poetry Day:-

http://www.faber.co.uk/content/national ... 2-download

Don't know how long the offer will last for, so best to grab it now.

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http://ttapress.com/blackstatic/casenotesblog/


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:26 pm 
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Eeek! Missed your post until today, Pete.
I have been to the site and it is merrily downloading as we speak. Thanks for the tip!


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Have heard a couple of poems (Liz Lochhead brilliant as always) - but that horrid sheep Annabel rather spoils the dignitas!


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:10 pm 
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Boxroom
by Liz Lochhead

First the welcoming. Smiles all round. A space
for handshakes. Then she put me in my place-
oh, with concern for my comfort. 'This room
was always his- when he comes home
it's here for him. 'Unless of course,' she said,
'He brings a Friend.' She smiled. 'I hope the bed
is soft enough? He'll make do tonight
in the lounge on the put-u-up. All right
for a night or two. Once or twice before
he's slept there. It'll all be fine I'm sure-
next door if you want to wash your face.'
Leaving me 'peace to unpack' she goes. My weekend case
(lightweight, glossy, made of some synthetic
miracle) and I are left alone in her pathetic
shrine to your lost boyhood. She must
think she can brush off time with dust
from model aeroplanes. I laugh it off in self defence,
who have come for a weekend to state my permanence

Peace to unpack- but I found none
in this spare room which once contained you. (Dun-
coloured walls, one small window which used to frame
your old horizons.) What can I blame
for my unrest, insomnia? Persistent fear
elbows me, embedded deeply here
in an outgrown bed. (Narrow, but no narrower
than the single bed we sometimes share.)
On every side you grin gilt edged from long-discarded selves
(but where do I fit into the picture?) Your bookshelves
are crowded with previous prizes, a selection
of plots grown thin. Your egg collection
shatters me- that now you have no interest
in. (You just took one from each, you never wrecked a nest,
you said.) Invited guest among abandoned objects,
my position
is precarious, closeted so- it's dark, your past a premonition
I can't close my eyes to. I shiver despite
the electric blanket and the deceptive mildness of the night.


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry Thread 2
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:18 am 
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Another from Lochhead on the same topic:

My Rival’s House

is peopled with many surfaces.
Ormolu and gilt, slipper satin,
lush velvet couches,
cusions so stiff you can’t sink in.
Tables polished clear enough to see distortions in.

We take our shoes off at her door,
shuffle stocking-toed, tiptoe – the parquet floor
is beautiful and its surface must
be protected. Dust
cover, drawn shade,
won’t let the surface colour fade.

Silver sugar-tongs and silver salver
my rival serves us tea.
She glosses over him and me.
I am all edges, a surface, a shell
and yet my rival thinks she means me well.
But what squirms beneath her surface I can tell.
Soon, my rival
capped tooth, polished nail
will fight, fight foul for her survival.
Deferential, daughterly, I sip
and thank her nicely for each bitter cup.

And I have much to thank her for.
This son she bore –
first blood to her –
never, never can escape scot free
the sour potluck of family.
And oh how close
this family that furnishes my rival’s place.

Lady of the house.
Queen bee.

She is far more unconscious,
far more dangerous than me.
Listen, I was always my own worst enemy.
She has taken even this from me.

She dishes up her dreams for breakfast.
Dinner, and her salt tears pepper our soup.
She won’t
give up.


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