The Artless Bodger’s Attempt at an Art Poétique
I’ve nothing new so here’s an old one, an early one, from over 40 years ago. It’s a bit of a stew concocted to use up some silly scraps of poems ( in italics ) that otherwise would have gone to waste.
with spoonfuls of borrowed ideas
and with a pretence of knowing
about this and that and poetry.
Just tell me the ingredients of a good poem
and I shall have a go at writing one.
And tell me the right form and shape
so that it looks right on the page,
so that the lines end at the right place.
Meanwhile, once more creeps on me the urge
to write and churn it out like this:
The jolly verse that off my tongue doth trip
Maketh all the girls’ hearts to dance and skip…
Sitting and rhyming we lay waste our time.
Or perhaps I’ll try another tack:
I stand and stare and cannot piss…
‘Ere, why don’t I try a little nonsense spoof?
My husband will not be home tonight…
What if I hold a short idea between my teeth
like elastic and pull?
Far enough’s too frightening,
Far far too frightening,
Far far too Pascalian, much too far to
It’s a long way to when will I ever …
Well, at least I’m on my guard against self-deceit,
ever since a man did accost me in the street,
and he did insult me with no uncertain greet
he said “Write no tripe in cryptic lang
uage and eschew
together in sepulchral sound
sjust knocked around.”