Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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  • Rookie Herbert Nehrlich1 (5/11/2005 8:32:00 AM) Post reply
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    That little novel is awfully long. Do you think anyone could keep their attention span up?
    For that you need proteins and animal fats, not starches.
    P.S.: When are we going to discuss Banjo Paterson?

  • Rookie Allan James Saywell (5/11/2005 8:26:00 AM) Post reply

    thats not a poem sonja thats a little novel

  • Rookie ***** ***** (5/11/2005 8:22:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    I think this is real poetry:

    Michael Hartnett

    The Retreat of Ita Cagney

    for Liam Brady


    Their barbarism did not assuage the grief:
    their polished boots, their Sunday clothes,
    the drone of hoarse melodeons.
    The smoke was like the edge of blue scythes.
    The downpour smell of overcoats
    made the kitchen cry for air;
    snuff lashed the nose like nettles
    and the toothless praising of the dead
    spun on like unoiled bellows.
    She could not understand her grief:
    the women who had washed his corpse
    were now more intimate with him
    than she had ever been.
    She put a square of silk upon her head
    and hidden in the collars of her coat
    she felt her way along the whitewashed walls.
    The road became a dim knife.
    She had no plan
    but instinct neighed around her
    like a pulling horse.


    Moulded to a wedge of jet
    by the wet night, her black hair
    showed one grey rib, like a fine
    steel filing on a forge floor.
    One deep line, cut by silent
    days of hate in the expanse
    of sallow skin above her brows,
    dipped down to a tragic slant.
    Her eyebrows were thin penlines
    finely drawn on parchment sheets,
    hair after miniscule hair
    a linear masterpiece.
    Triangles of minute gold
    broke her open blue of eyes
    that had looked on bespoke love
    seeing only to despise.

    Her long nose was almost bone
    making her face too severe:
    the tight and rose-edged nostrils
    never belled into a flare.
    A fine gold down above the
    upper lip did not maintain
    its prettiness not lower’s swell
    make it less a graph on pain.
    Chin and jawline delicate,
    neither weak not skeletal:
    bone in definite stern mould,
    small and strong like a fox-skull.
    Her throat showed no signs of age.
    No sinews reinforced flesh
    or gathered in clenched fistfuls
    to pull skin to a lined mesh.

    The rest was shapeless, in black woollen dress.


    Door opened halving darkness bronze
    and half an outlines man
    filled half the bronze.
    Lamplight whipped upright into gold
    the hairs along his nose,
    flowed coils of honey
    around his head.
    In the centre of his throat
    clipped on his blue-striped shirt
    a stud briefly pierced a thorn of light.

    The male smell of the kitchen
    engulfed her face,
    odours of lost gristle
    and grease along the wall:
    her headscarf laughed a challenge,
    its crimson wrinkles crackling.
    He knuckled up the wooden latch
    and closed the door for many years.


    Great ceremony later causes pain:
    next year in hatred and in grief, the vain
    white dress, the bulging priest, the frantic dance,
    the vowing and the sickening wished, land
    like careful hammers on a broken hand.
    But in this house no scared text was read.
    He offered her some food: they went to bed,
    his arm and side a helmet for her head.
    This was no furtive country coupling: this
    was the ultimate hello, kiss and kiss
    exchanged and bodies introduced. Their skin –
    to choose so late a moment to begin,
    while shamefaced chalice, pyx, ciborium
    clanged their giltwrapped anger in the room.


    The swollen leather creaks
    like lost birds
    and the edges of her shawl
    fringe down into the dark
    while glaciers of oilskins drip around her
    and musical traces and chafing of harness
    and tedious drumming of hooves on the gravel
    make her labour pains become
    the direct rebuke and pummel of the town.

    Withdrawing from her pain
    to the nightmare warmth
    beneath her shawl
    the secret meeting in the dark
    becomes a public spectacle
    and baleful sextons turn their heads
    and sullen shadows mutter hate
    and snarl and debate
    and shout vague threats of hell.

    The crossroads blink their headlamp warning
    and break into a rainbow on the shining tar:
    the new skill turns in its warm pain,
    the new skull pushes towards its morning.


    O my small and warm creature
    with your gold hair and your skin
    that smells of milk and apples,
    I must always lock you in
    where nothing much can happen.
    But you will hate these few rooms,
    for a dove is bound to come
    with leaves and outdoor perfumes:
    already the talons drum
    a beckoning through the slates,
    bring form the people words
    and messages of hate.
    Soon the wingbeats of this bird
    will whisper down in their dive.
    I dread the coming of this dove
    for its beak will be a knife
    and if you leave armed with my love
    they will tell you what you lack.

    The will make you wear my life
    like a hump upon your back.


    …. each footprint being green in the wet grass
    in search of mushrooms like white moons of lime,
    each hazel ooze of cowdung through the toes,
    being warm, and slipping like a floor of silk …
    but all the windows are in mourning here:
    the giant eye gleams like a mucous hill.
    She pictured cowslips, then his farmer’s face,
    and waited in a patient discontent.
    A heel of mud fell from his garden boots
    embossed with nails and whit-hilt shoots of grass,
    a hive of hayseeds in the woollen grooves
    of meadow coats fell golden on the floor,
    and apples with medallions of rust
    englobed a thickening cider on the shelf:
    and holly on the varnished frames bent in
    and curved its cat-sharp fingernails of green.
    The rooms became resplendent with these signs.


    I will put purple crêpe and crimson crêpe
    and white crêpe on the shelf
    and watch the candles cry
    O salutaris hostia.
    I will light the oil-lamp till it burns
    like a scarlet apple
    and was the candlegrease
    upon the ledges interweave
    to ropes of ivory.
    I have not insulted God:
    I have insulted
    crombie coats and lace mantillas,
    Sunday best and church collections,
    and they declare my life a sinful act:
    not because it hurts
    the God they say they love –
    not because their sins are less –
    but because my happiness
    is not a public fact.


    In rhythmic dance the neighbours move
    outside my door, become dumb dolls
    as venom breaks in strident fragments
    on the glass; broken insults clatter
    on the slates. The pack retreats,
    the instruments of siege withdraw
    and skulk into the foothills to regroup.
    The houses nudge and mutter through the night
    and wait intently for the keep to fall.
    She guards her sleeping citizen
    and paces the exhausting floor:
    on speaking avenues of stone
    she hears the infantry of eyes advance.

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  • Rookie Herbert Nehrlich1 (5/11/2005 8:22:00 AM) Post reply

    True, Allan. I am just waiting for them to stop visiting my poems plus cease making comments about me. Then I will be able to retire from the forum and keep the company that I am accustomed to.
    I am an optimist.

  • Rookie Herbert Nehrlich1 (5/11/2005 8:19:00 AM) Post reply

    Wanna discuss poetry Allan?
    What if they called for a discussion and nobody came?
    You are right, Allan, incidentally did you get your computer fixed?
    Best wishes

  • Rookie - 150 Points Poetry Hound (5/11/2005 6:05:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Good to see that Christopher Higginson has moved up the rankings even though some would claim such movement is impossible.

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  • Rookie Michael Shepherd (5/11/2005 4:09:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    Dr Herbert Nehrlich has left a massage in answer to my message somewhere on page 4 as of this morning, mentioning that he removed his poem 'Jews' as it appeared to offend some over-sensitive people with a persecution complex. Please read it and its subsequent replies, where you will note that HN promises not to visit the Forum again. Dr Nehrlich is a man of his word.

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  • Rookie Allan James Saywell (5/10/2005 9:30:00 PM) Post reply

    freedom of speech includes people being allowed to show displeasure at your work
    or to say your work is okay, i believe in people having free speech, i believe even people who are full of envy and jealousy that are mentally incomplete
    should view my work, mass murderers should view my work, people who cant spell should view my work, i use my own name for i'm not ashamed about what i write

  • Rookie - 150 Points Poetry Hound (5/10/2005 9:17:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    I think Chritopher Higginson is an okay poet and probably deserves a higher ranking than 452, at least for little while.

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  • Rookie Andy Konisberg (5/10/2005 5:35:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    this is someone with an over-bite:

    @; -B

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