Sunday, November 15, 2009

A poetry sleep-in.

The soul is a wild boar - McGuire.

Falling asleep listening to the dull poets

read their dull poems in the land of soul.
Writhing in stuffy halls on hard uncomfortable chairs.
Reluctant audiences exhaust the coffee machine,
stew over stiff silence as one soul is about to
read the last line from a five page epic.
All preparing for perfunctory applause.

This is where poetry comes to die.


Hugh McMillan said...
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Hugh McMillan said...

You been there too?

McGuire said...

Aye, Shug. I know it's a shameless jibe at all those poets out there, but sometimes the anti-poet reminds us, as though we needed reminded, to avoid the dullery of the 'careful' poetry of stability.

Through a couple of fire crackers in there or a secret family letter or something suprisingly honest.

Jim Murdoch said...

I've been to one poetry reading in my life and I think that may well be me. That was thirty years ago but the memory is still quite fresh. I don't mind listening to the odd poem online especially if I know the person but that's about it. I know I'm in a minority but I simply can't absorb poetry without seeing it on a page. It's just noise - blah, blah, blah... With the one possible exception of John Cooper Clarke. On the whole humorous poetry does fare better when read aloud than serious stuff.

McGuire said...

It all depends what a person brings to it, some people like to perform, or as you highlight, make a laugh out of it. I prefer that sort of thing, I've done a few readings myself, and starting to do more, in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

I know what you mean about reading the page first, gives you the time and space to 'contemplate' the piece, but really, Jim, you should give them a try, sometimes the ear picks up things in a way the page can't quite grasp.

Titus said...

I've seen poems I didn't "get" on the page come to life once I've heard the poet read them.
Not sure if that's a good or a bad thing, however.

. said...

I enjoyed this very muchly, especially the last line.

More please :)

Rachel Fox said...

I recognised this from your book...then went to check and look, you've changed it? Who do you think you are, Bob Dylan?

I like both versions by the way. A lot of people have been put off poetry by boring readings, lifeless delivery, snobby attitudes, pretentious god, friends, there's a lot of work to be done. To your posts!

McGuire said...

Yes rachel, my little poems change here and there, it's the whole riddled with error thing. Keep me on my toes and confounded the reader.

A lot of work to be done? Then 'To my poems' - is that a toast, to my poems, or should I try and curb my own snobbery and pretention?

There is a lot of work to be done. I'm building away. Man at work signs everywhere.