Longfellow cut short

In his ears
he longed
to hear Longfellow;
taught Tennyson,
Keats and Chaucer;

What chance he
in fuckin’ Barnsley
where language is
coal mine coarser.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011

Apologies for the language but this was written in anger after I watched a young father tell his son who innocently picked up a second hand book “I’m not buying no fuckin books”. It is the language of my home-town I am a little ashamed of the choice language.

My heart sank, the father stood with a can of lager and a half smoked cigarette refusing to expand his sons’ horizon for the want of 50 pence.

It is also sad that I was unable to buy the book on behalf of the child for fear of getting my face kicked in. Such is the mentality of my home town. 

I don’t usually like colloquialism in poems but it does reflect the hard, ex-coal mining town that Barnsley still is; regardless of shiny bus stations and chocca-mocha latte coffees.

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The sun shines because of Keats

The ex mining town
called Barnsley in England,
South Yorkshire is
for reading Keats’ “To Autumn”
a little, wonderfully warmer;

I follow Keats’ “Bright Star”
and it illuminates my day;
it alleviates for one glorious minute
my coal deep pit of pain.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011

Thanks to fellow blogger “The Bard on the hill” for posting “To Autumn” by John Keats, now go away and look up “Bright Star” by Keats and see how real poetry is written. Go on, do it now, I insist. 

Advert: Small fat bloke seeks muse; apply writing

Where is my Maya Angelou?
Where is my Virginia Wolfe?
Where is the woman
who pines for poetic perfection
and doesn’t think poetry
is written by puffs;

Where is my Carol Ann Duffy?
Where is my Sylvia Plath?;
Where is the woman to share
starless nights wrapped in a book
and not think me as daft?

Where is the is the woman
who swoons at “Bright Star”
by England’s greatest; Keats;
I’ll tell you where she is
my friend;
she is nowhere near me.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011

And before you get on your high horses about Virginia Wolfe not being primarily a Poet, I like her work and more importantly he name rhymes with “puff”.

Read this and weep

I am not a big fan of cutting and pasting poems from the internet but in light of my poem The Bard of Barnsley I am compelled to share with you the most beautiful poem in the world in my opinion.

Should I be lucky enough to write until my dying day I know I will never write anything as magnificent as this poem. In fact if I we only allowed to write one poem in my entire lifetime on this tawdry spinning lump of dirt I would do well to come within a thousand years of such enormity.

I give to you John Keats poem: Bright Star

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art –
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors –
No – yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever – or else swoon to death.

Keats would not weep

What’s wrong with being commercial?
Commercial pays the bills.
Commercial fills my basket with venison;
long gone surviving
on just bread and milk.

Keats will not weep
in his poetic grave;
commercial poetry pays my child maintenance
and puts an Ice cream smile
on their face.

© D. Archer October 2011