How to Recite Right

old scholar
An Old Scholar Sharpening his Pen by Gerrit Dou

 

How to Recite Right

“A poem that never has thoughts within lines, but which carries each phrase and each sentence about between one line and next, as its structure is cut into sliver and strand that looks hard to read out”

No.  You’ve done that wrong.
This is a poem – notice the lines.
They’re not just there to say this is a poem,
Or to make for pretty layout designs.
They are there to guide us along;
This is crucial – notice the pause –
The extra beats we don’t say, but we know ’em,
That little silence that underscores.
And the rhymes, the heart of the song,
Don’t bury them all in the throng.
So once again, and let ’em come strong –

“A poem that
never has thoughts within
lines but which carries
each phrase and each
sentence about between one
line and next as its
structure is cut into
sliver and
strand that looks
hard to read
out”

No, you’re still not that tight how you’re fitting it,
No, it’s still not quite right how you’re hitting it,
You’ve really gotta recite as they’ve written it,
There’s no need to fight it to get it to knit –
The breaks, the breaks,
That break up each sentence
In separate takes
Of its clauses and thoughts.
Look to the breaks as the structure and entrance,
And look to the pauses that each line supports.
Trust in the poet not to blow it, but to know,
How to slow it, how to go it, and to show it all so.
Follow their signs, let their lines set the flow –

“A poem that never has
Lines within lines, but
Which carries each phrase and
Each sentence about
Between one line and next as
Its structure is cut
Into sliver and strand
That looks hard to read out”

 

The Audacious Free Will of the Predestined Chrononaut

godheads
Godheads by Donato Giancola

 

The Audacious Free Will of the Predestined Chrononaut

Into the future we charge,
We travellers in time,
Past all of the past and into the future.
Tachyon trekkers at large,
In our own time,
From marcher to moocher –
But all of us heading in one direction,
Through the temporal intersection:
Into the future we barge our way,
Each and every day.

There’s some say the future already exists
And it does !  We’re in it today.
This is the future, as this is the past,
And the one hold the other in sway.
We may like to think that we’re free how we choose,
But however we choose it, the future arrives.
So best to ignore it and get on with living,
Before we have run out of lives.

We are the eyes of the future,
Spying on history,
Witnessing live the long-dead past.
We are the ones who are there,
And writing it down,
So the future can read it at last.
They pay us with hope, from their endless supply,
Or pay us with dread, if the price is too high.
The eyes of long-ago future will see
All of the past yet-to-be.

There’s some say free will is just an illusion
And lives are determined and fast.
That’s true for the future – their choices are narrowed
By what we do now in the past.
We may like to think that we’re free how we choose,
But however we choose it, we still live our lives.
So best to ignore it and get on with living,
Before all that future arrives.

 

 

Sluggabed

sleeping girl
A Sleeping Girl by Edward Baily

 

Sluggabed

She did not wake this morning, nor this afternoon, nor eve,
And all this week she’s spawning ev’ry dream she can conceive,
And the daylight still she’s scorning for the visions she shall weave,
Till her health begins its pawning for the means to stall her leave.

 

 

The poem is not about a statue, but I do like this sculpture.

 

 

It’s Probably Important

filing cabinet

 

It’s Probably Important

Filing, filing,
They must be got in order,
Thought who’d be such a hoarder
To let them stack so deep ?

Filing, filing,
A papery assortment
Of doggery deportment,
And thoroughly asleep.

Do they rustle out in vain,
And yearn to be of use again ?
Or do they long to end their plight
With damp or flame or paper mite ?
Either way, the data’s piling;
Only remedy is

Filing, filing,
So endlessly abundant,
So battered and redundant,
So crumpled and a-crease

Filing, filing,
They served so well their placement,
So box them in the basement,
And let them rest in peace.

 

 

Poet’s Corny

poets' corner

 

Poet’s Corny

(In response to Wendy Cope’s Engineers’ Corner)

Oh, shut up Wendy, carping still,
Like a Guardian trendy, elite and crabby.
I suppose you write your poems with a quill
By candlelight, in a world chock-full of balladeers.
But I warn yer, without the engineers
There wouldn’t be a corner, for there wouldn’t be an abbey.

 

 

A Rose by Any Other Name but This

jezebel
The Brutal Murder of Jezebel at the Hands of the Baying Mob by Gustave Doré

 

A Rose by Any Other Name but This

Atheist parents do not breed Jezebels,
Their daughters are precious, not pawns in a game.
Atheist parents may mock what the Bible tells,
But that is no reason to resurrect the name.
It may sound pretty, and the Bible may teach slander,
But why would any parent choose a stripper’s name to brand her ?

Atheist parents do not breed Jezebels,
Their daughters are Marys and Sarahs and Janes.
Atheist parents may not fear burning hells,
But that is no reason for bully-bate names.
It may sound pretty, but it’s home to tarts and brats:
For we cannot name our children in the way we name our cats.

 

 

Moving the Goalposts

goalposts

 

Moving the Goalposts

So much emotion invested
In teams over which we have little control;
So many loyalties tested,
Where happiness hangs on a single damn goal.
We buy into brands and we swear that we’re theirs,
But we’ve nothing to offer ’cept hoping and prayers;
So they win or they lose – and at least someone cares,
Though we act like it cost us our soul.

But all of that devotion
For an empty sporting rite
Must leaves no spare emotion
To our fellow humans’ plight:
There’s torture to be ending, and forests to be saving,
There’s justice to be tending, and freedom to be braving;
There’s too much needs defending to waste our flags with waving,
Let’s get our passions working here instead.
We need to get ignited for the good of all the blighted,
Regardless if they’re wearing blue or red.