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

Friday, 1 October 2010

The lily, gingerbread and us

Turner’s Folkestone From The Sea. The church is on the clifftop

St Mary and St Eanswythe, rain and wind
October 1, 1960

A golden day but let’s forsake fool’s gold
And go in search of useful tolerance.
For there’s no credit, dear, in growing old
And worshipping a doubtful permanence.
Instead we’ll build a fire of cliché sticks,
Burn cards of happiness and humdrum verse,
Distrust old facile “love” since reason mocks
An easy word to hide a lie or curse.
Let’s dwell on anger - pardoned on the wing,
A hand outstretched to aid a swollen knee
A joke that shares more than a wedding ring
A glass of wine that seals complicity.
Spare symbols, mantras, ill-used sentiment
Just say, do, listen, to our hearts’ content

CLICK HERE for audio (and health warning). Sorry about login, download, etc. A direct link costs $10/month.

16 comments:

The Crow said...

This is a beautiful love poem, BB - Hallmark can't come even close.

I say again: Mrs. BB is a fortunate woman, and it sounds as if you are just as fortunate.

Beautiful...

Sir Hugh said...

Congratulations to you both again. I do like the poem- it has a powerful feeling of absolute sincerity.

herhimnbryn said...

A beautiful 'real love' poem BB. Good to hear you read it too. Congratulations to you both.

Oct 1st is important to me too. 51 today!

marja-leena said...

Congratulations to you both on your 50th! Wonderful poem and reading. Are you taking another helicopter ride this year to celebrate?

Barrett Bonden said...

All: Once published a piece of rhyme ceases to be the author's and becomes whatever readers make of it. This is a wonderful process. I wrote this sonnet over several weeks and made many radical changes: my aim was to prescribe a way of living which took account of what had been learned over the past fifty years. But it is clear you've all seen something different in it - something I can recognise when I re-read it in the light of your comments - and I'm delighted with this. Truly delighted.

HHB: Yes I realised as I indulgently commented on your Big List, down there in Western Australia, that the three of us shared this day. I wish you'd been there (though you'd have hated the weather), wish you'd suddenly decided to burst out into unstoppable tears. The sound of a crying baby enhances a wedding (and a funeral, for that matter).

Plutarch said...

Congratulation to you both, and to you on your growing ease with the sonnet form, and your persistent avoidence of cliché sticks

Avus said...

A very moving sonnet to celebrate your 50 years together BB. Its heartfelt sincerity eclipses the usual glib offerings.

My "tandem stoker" (of 52 years) and I send you and Mrs BB our very best wishes.

Rouchswalwe said...

Late again ... however, I wish you both a Happy 50th from the heart and will drink a Golden Belgian Ale (of course) in your honour forthwith! Your Sonnet really speaks to me. Very nice.

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: I hivered and hovered over "cliché sticks", thinking it might be seen as an imposed rhyme. Your usage gives it legitimacy and I thank you for that.

Avus: So, what about a sonnet on tandem stoking. Should you have better fish to fry I'm open to commissions.

RW (sZ): Don't apologise - you've got other, harder concerns. The sonnet is also about growing old (without making a fuss about it) and if it touches your world (though not you personally - goodness, Tall Woman, you're nobbut a lass) then I'm pleased.

Lucy said...

Belated congratulations to you both.

The poem is vintage BB, and I do like that final pun...

Hattie said...

I like the question in your voice at the end.

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy: Vintage? From a vineyard that's hardly a year old? Nice of you to say so, though.

Hattie: What you heard was dubiety.

Julia said...

In some of your sonnets I hear more music, in this I see more color and even without the audio hear your voice with its graidely tones and pauses. Happy Anniversary to you both!

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: Where on earth, I asked myself, did Czech Clever-Clogs pick up such an obscure word as "gradeley"? - a rare complimentary Yorkshire dialect word. But Mrs BB was equal to my query: "Probably from The Secret Garden." Ah yes, in fact C is probably using it to the astonishment of her school pals. I'm not sure about colour in the sonnet but you're right about a lack of music. The theme is philosophical old age and I'd have to be batting a thousand (ie, producing a rhyming equivalent to opus 137) to turn that into melody. Thanks for your thoughts. Hmm. Pauses? Are they getting longer?

Julia said...

Mrs. BB is right, The Secret Garden taught us well! Caroline is rather enthralled with the tha's and wot nots, but I'm fairly certain I'm pronouncing them all wrong.

I saw gold and red in fire, burn, ring, and wine and thought it well stretched (and sketched).

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: So C is learning three languages: English, Czech and Yorkshire. As regards the latter she should devise some system (other than naff finger-gestures) to indicate she is quoting rather than speaking as a native. Before we were even married Mrs BB (make that Miss T) told me that whereas she could accept a Yorkshire accent from men, she was far more dubious when it was uttered by women. Which is just as well from my point of view.

The colours were entirely accidental but I'm pleased as Punch (cliché) you found them. Easily the best reward from trying to write verse is when a reader discovers something you didn't know was there.