Monday, October 15, 2012

the poet

Tatler August 2012
Yes, I have been saving this page. When I was traveling in Scotland, I met the retired school master who turned me on to a couple of poets that she has been tutoring her students on for the 'A' level examinations. And given my penchant for magazines and the whacky world of coincidence, one of them appeared on the pages of Tatler magazine that I read on the flight home.

Simon Armitage ... he says, "you can't beat a good fuck ... it can be erotic or affectionate or funny or aggressive." And for this Miss Violet Hudson, the article's writer, says of his favorite words that for this he "may be the sole reason that rhyme is now on par with rhythm on the list of Things To Look For In a Man." I certainly can't deny that a man with rhymes can take my heart with him.

With a quick read of his work, I particularly like this one:

It Ain't What You Do, It's What It Does To You

I have not bummed across America
with only a dollar to spare, one pair
of busted Levi's and a bowie knife.
I have lived with thieves in Manchester.

I have not padded through the Taj Mahal,
barefoot, listening to the space between
each footfall picking up and putting down
its print against the marble floor. But I

skimmed flat stones across Black Moss on a day
so still I could hear each set of ripples
as they crossed. I felt each stone's inertia
spend itself against the water; then sink.

I have not toyed with a parachute cord
while perched on the lip of a light-aircraft;
but I held the wobbly head of a boy
at the day centre, and stroked his fat hands.

And I guess that the tightness in the throat
and the tiny cascading sensation
somewhere inside us are both part of that
sense of something else. That feeling, I mean. 
At first read, I immediately thought of Wordsworth, the Romantic poet. He had an ongoing argument with his contemporary, Lord Byron, that he loved England more as he stayed put in his beloved Lake District while Byron trounced around Europe in his pursuit of adventure. And to some extent, I think that it is a safe comparison, though I get more the sense of the emotion of Byron in his lyric than the pastoral scenes that Wordsworth contemplates in his work. One can entertain cosmopolitan form from one's own space as it is how one feels about the thing than the thing itself.
This week I am lucky to have a few tickets to see Seamus Heaney speak ... one of my favorite poets. And though I don't want to move to far off of my intent for this blog, I have decided to break away and create one especially for poetry. I have been wrestling with URLs for weeks, and for some reason, this prohibited me from writing on this blog ... but the additional one can be found at I am sincere in my desire to work on my own poetry, and with a place for it, perhaps I will harder toward my goal.
Check it out if you get the chance.

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