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, 12 May 2009

The clothes proclaim the (versatile) man

Miltonian sonnet* - Gavin Hewitt: TV news reporter

Dull dust-blown shoes stand in eternal dust.
The denim shirt surrounds a thickened neck.
The prĂ©cis matched against time’s rigid check
Broadcasts a message countering mistrust.
Distant the filthy disagreeing clouds
Pall grievously another killing war
The dead are food for deadline’s avid maw
Screens flicker, forecasting advancing shrouds.
But now the shirt’s exchanged for coat and tie,
With news of banks and theories just revealed.
Switch to a scarf, windproof, light-glimmered eye
Provincial murder now requires his art.
From that square face an instinct to impart
The hack’s quick truthfulness of wounds unhealed.

(* eg, To Mr Lawrence).

NOTE. Ughh, far too hard for an amateur. The seemingly random distribution of the rhymed lines after the first two quatrains left me unbelayed. Why, Milton, why?


The Crow said...

Several powerful images arose in my mind from your sonnet, dear BB. Serious subject matter underneath the sartorial commentary. Good lines, one and all.

I will paraphrase what I read someone said about viewing art: I don't know what constitutes good poetry, but I know what I like.

I like this, BB, very much. It reaches some tender part of my soul and lingers there. It has multiple layers of meaning that come after the words have been digested. I will be savoring this for several hours today.

Have you considered another blog, where you aren't constrained to 300 words, or to writing about technology only? I'd love to see what you would do if you turned your inner poet loose and let him go to town!

Bravo, Friend!

Plutarch said...

Why not? Less neat, less cosy, and more complex, to reflect a complex world. I like the classical pause at the end of the octave and conclusion of the argument with the sestet beginning.."But now....

There are some memorable lines eg the first couplet and "The dead are food for deadline's avid maw...".

I think that the p..... word has taken you over and you are at risk of becoming a p...

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: I very much appreciate your response. As a beginner, I feel vulnerable posting this stuff, especially since some responders find it rather too obscure. For you there could be the added disadvantage that I'm often writing about British subjects and picking up some of the allusions may be difficult. However, I am making amends with the next sonnet (back in the Shakespearean format) which is about an American woman famous during the fifties and sixties. I must say that being able to communicate at all through poetry is a strange and unexpected late-life bonus.

I am flattered at your suggestion that I do another differing blog. I have of course already laid the groundwork with the fledgling French one but two other tasks remain: First, because it is in another language it needs to be related to an entirely different email address otherwise there is multi-lingual interaction between the two; so far I have been too indolent to take this step. Second, I need to put myself about with French bloggers if I expect to get any initial response, and this has gone on to the back burner recently.

Technology/300 words. The first is an under-appreciated topic in the blogosphere and deserves to be treated as an enthusiasm (better to be king of a small midden, than a peasant on a bigger one); the second relates to an old journalistic instinct - better to bore people a little rather than a lot.

Plutarch: I fear I was glad to be shut of it. The structure gave me no help. I appreciate the way you are sparing my feelings with p... but I find myself filling in the dots with different letters and enjoying the scatological results. A vilanelle perhaps?

The Crow said...

BB: a short post script, re: your posting about British subjects - that's why I go to Google. Found out who Gavin Hewitt is right after I read your post. Better looking than our Dan Rather was when he was the same age.

Back to cutting grass I go. Wanted to see what response you might have made to Joe's great remarks. I get such a kick out of reading you two banter.


Julia said...

Really nice, and I do think you are becoming that p type person that Plutarch mentions.