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

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

More on bikes and ovens, please

POETECHNICS A lyric L-plate holder asks: Does one write a poem? Plutarch and Julia admit to techniques hardly covered by this familiar word. Lucy, in answer to a slightly different question, also reveals a variant approach. But if not write what then?

One compiles a list but this is hardly appropriate for a poem. The raw material of a compilation is surely fusty-dusty data-ish stuff. Assemble? Isn’t that what happens to the parts of a CKD Ikea table or a pile of Lego bricks en route to becoming a mini version of Buckingham Palace?

I offer refine. I know refining is a secondary process but in this case the raw materials are the contents of a big, big dictionary; by refining their nuances and their relationships a poem (verse? doggerel?) may emerge. OK, it’s a slow day at the office.

Below is a sonnet. As I commented in my previous post, adopting this format was like putting on an overcoat which conferred adulthood. Meeting the AB, AB, BC, etc, restrictions is the price paid; the benefit is the horizon shrinks from infinity to manageable proportions.

Coughing, etc
This other voice, this interruptive jolt
This inarticulate explosive bray
This unwarned auditory thunderbolt
That breaks communication by its sway.
An unkempt voice grown ragged down decades
Its origins in poisoned northern fumes
Remote from cliché comfortable glades
Enshrined in chimney stacks and rattling looms.
A wrestler’s hold that forced the primary voice
Through nostrils to evince a captious whine
Removing too the beneficial choice
Of lungs resistant to the breath’s decline

Accent, nasality and coughing can
Identify the true West Yorkshire man


The Crow said...

I'm no judge, as any can tell,
Of what makes a good poem.
I only know what I think's swell:
When I see 'em, I know 'em.

(Sorry, one and all.)

Cool beans, BB.


Julia said...

Better and better!

marja-leena said...

A latent talent has blossomed forth!

Plutarch said...

Spot on, lad! Good as a cover drive by Len Hutton.I couldn't agree more with The Crow. Cool beans! Witty and accurate.

Barrett Bonden said...

The ideas come fairly freely, the words (the longer the better) require only a shortish journey from my frontal lobes, but the rhythm (stress, etc)... that's where I'm hag-ridden. The fault was identified many years ago when I found I could dance a foxtrot to a quickstep tune, or vice versa. It meant my trumpet-playing was always limited and I fear it will prove audibly fatal when I move from the di-dah-di-dahs of a sonnet to unseen menace of a double sestina (Thank you, Google.)

Julia said...

You are working on a sestina now?

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: Not after I checked out what a sestina involves. It's greetings card verses from now on.