Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 19 April 2009

BB takes the hari-kiri route


Each finds its master. Planed, sweet-smelling wood
Succumbs to the harder, insistent saw,
Shaped and inscribed by synthetic diamonds
Manmade pretenders from no ancient world.

New worlds release an otter-smooth handle,
Hickory heft to the chisel’s sharp thrust.
Numbers define a steel blade right-angled
Aiding precisely our carpenter needs.

Simplicity sprung from myrmidon systems
Intimate gears forcing spiraling drives
Guided by maps of blind printed circuits
Carry a force that restrains and impels

Ultimate beat; the heart of production
Obedient yet to higher commands,
Hidden within the step-function action,
Muscle and sinew to master the switch.

Note: My apologies for flagging this such a long time ago. Its appearance was delayed because, in the interim, Julia had to teach me how to write a poem. Blame for its imperfections should be directed at me not at her for this - let's call it, verse - may well deserve the cliché judgement involving purses and sow's ears. Or possibly horse's...

Picture copyright 2001 by Jim Wilson


The Crow said...

Don't apologize: it is great!

"Planed, sweet-smelling wood..." calls to mind the aromas of my favorites: oak, pine, cypress and redwood. (There is another I like, but I can't recall its name...has streaks of sagey-green running through it.)

Good poem, Friend BB!

Your poem evokes fond memories of workbench building, cabinet making; watching curls of wood floating to the floor; the satisfation of making something with my hands...of journeying in what many still feel is the male domain of woodworking. That I am not very good at the craft doesn't matter so much to me. I love the process.


marja-leena said...

Yes, it's great, BB! A new writing career ahead?

Memories of my father's hands, tools, workshop and the things he lovingly and skilfully made and restored over a lifetime...

herhimnbryn said...

Great poem BB. For me too it invoked memories. Those of my Granfather (a carpenter, by trade) and the woody scents ( mixed with roll your own cigs) of his little back garden shed. I still use the wooden jewellery box he made me.

PS. I see Avus was enticed to comment on your Honda post!

Julia said...

Reads even better online. I'm a proud editor.

Plutarch said...

By the the third reading, I began to like it a lot. What's most important is the feeling that comes across. At the first reading I thought to myself: "It's just an exercise". But it is far from that. You once said to me of a pint of Guiness, "the first pint doesn't count". Forgive me if I reciprocate in a different context. Another poem please!

The Crow said...

Friend BB:

Back again, with something I found (which I thought you might enjoy) whilst googling for American poets:

You have inspired me to try to learn more about the art and craft of writing poetry.

I have re-read your poem/verses here several times, and find new views each time. I think this one was well done.


Relucent Reader said...

Excellent poem, Sir, no need for any apology whatsoever.
Please, keep 'em comin!

The Crow said...

If you visit the site I found, under the category Poetic Form look for this title: Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape.

Now, has thee completed the poem about drying paint?

Barrett Bonden said...

All: Thanks for your encouragement. However it is clear there are two shortcomings, neither of which fell within Julia's remit:

1) The language is over-condensed (something that happens with my blog posts too as I struggle to meet my target of less than 300 words). As a result the link between the first two verses and the last two is not self-evident.

(2) I chose to write "free" verse in that the lines do not rhyme. I should have remembered Auden: "Rhymes, meters, stanza forms, etc, are like servants. If the master is fair enough to win their affection and firm enough to command their respect, the result is an orderly happy household... The poet who writes 'free' verse is like Robinson Crusoe on his desert island: he must do all his cooking, laundry and darning himself. (This may) produce something original and impressive but more often the result is squalor - dirty sheets on the unmade bed and empty bottles on the unswept floor." Elsewhere Auden says he was initially tempted by "free" verse because he thought it would be easier. It wasn't.

Clearly I should have minded this. Since writing the above I have written four sonnets and have found that the format gives comfort and is reassuring. I'm pondering a vilanelle (just kidding!).

Lucy said...

'New worlds release an otter-smooth handle'

is my favourite. Bravo BB and Julia!