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

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Belated tribute

Sonnet – Virginia Mayo “Colorado Territory”

Her blonde largesse is proof that God was there,
A nabob said, ignoring that His child
Spoke woodenly and lacked the mobile flair
To match the grace by which her looks beguiled.
A Venus paid to bathe in froth, or play
A pallid version of reality;
Foil to a vulgar comic’s roundelay
Or soft support for muscularity.
She did what sleek-set men told her was best
Which was what other staring men would want,
Til later, stripped of rouge and coarsely dressed,
She died – on film – with passion triumphant
Within a canyon, and beyond the curse
Of beauty measured by a banal purse.

NOTE Written on paper! With a ballpoint! On the Newport – Paddington express! But, as always, MsW helped resolve a flat penultimate line back home. Hurray for railways (Re-read “The Importance of Being Ernest” on the e-book reader on the return journey); even bigger hurray for computers.
UNRELATED NOTE Blogging with someone is the perfect preparation for lunching with them a year later. The conversation dives straight into the stuff that matters, like what constitutes a print. Dramatis personae: Marja-Leena with Fred, BB, Mrs BB.


Plutarch said...

Why should English need "manhandling" into poetry (Your intoductions)? It has belonged there for a long time, and helped to make English what it is.

Barrett Bonden said...

Is the above more acceptable? You will remember I asked whether one "wrote" poetry or whether another verb was more appropriate. I came up with the idea that one "refines" poetry - a process which for me is more akin to disentangling a ball of string than sitting on a tuffet in Grasmere and ratiocinating. Manhandling my own instincts would have been better.

Plutarch said...

Yes. It is a pleasure to be at the receiving end of your "attempt" which is achieving so much. There will soon be a time when even you will no longer feel the need to apologise. Have you given any thought to the difference between poetry and verse? It seems to me that you have been writing verse and thinking of it only as verse, when almost unobserved by you, poetry is pushing through all the time.

Lucy said...

I really like this one, especially the word 'roundelay', a bold choice!

So glad it went well at the Bloggers' Retreat. What did you all have to eat? I want details!

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy: Luckily my amanuensis was present. M-L prawn bhuna, Fred chicken and mushroom bhuna, BB lamb curry, Mrs BB lamb kurma. Plus one veg curry, four poppadums, two naans, mango chutney. To drink: four Grolsches, one Stella, jug o' water for M-L. Bill £48. With the sonnet (above) already written I was able to relax and entertain everybody throughout the whole meal. AS to the quality of that entertainment a judgement may emerge later.

Lucy said...

Thank you! Sounds totally delicious from start to finish!

The Crow said...

Refines is a good term I think, in that poetry is a distillation of the language that results in a concentrated, succinct expession of a more expansive idea. Or, so it seems to me, a complete novice.

I like your tribute to Virginia Mayo. I didn't see the film to which you refer. My favorite of her movies I have seen is the Walter Mitty movie she did with Danny Kaye.


marja-leena said...

Catching up with blog reading here and there, I see that I missed coming back to this post and commenting! Thanks for answering Lucy's question for I neglected to note what the names of our dishes were as we were so immersed in eating and fascinating conversation - so much so that we forgot to also take photos, alas! A very belated thank you to both you and Mrs B for coming into London to meet us! Glad to have carried on this tradition at the Blogger's Retreat!

Hattie said...

This poem is exact. I'm not much for interpretation, so to me this poem is what it is. A small masterpiece, I would say.
-From one autodidact to another-