Sunday, December 16, 2007

Merry Christmas to all!

My favorite Christmas hymn/poem

Love came down at Christmas

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
Star and angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Christina Rossetti

Friday, December 14, 2007

My first attempt at a Villanelle - a traditional poetic form. For honest man inspired by this photo on his blog!

An Aberlady Sunset

What is sky and what is river

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Mobile

From the corner it watches her.
No song, no flashing lights

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Turn the Engine on

and take me anywhere but home.
Drive on to where the street lights end

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Short Book Review

Boudicca & Co by Jane Holland

I recently ordered Jane Holland's book of poems Boudicca & Co after reading one of the poems from it that she had published on her blog Raw Light. I managed to steal a bit of quiet time over the last few days to read it and I thoroughly enjoyed it, will definitely find myself going back to the poems time and time again as you do with good poetry.

The book is packed with 58 poems and split into 4 sections. What struck me immediately was the density of imagery and choice language that prevails through every line and the overwhelming sense of completeness with every single poem so that each one could stand alone independant of the sequence they inhabit.
There is a rich variety of subject matter - from Love Song for a Gargoyle (which has 'rough hoof' and 'tongue' in the same line and makes my mouth feel all funny every time I read it) to In Praise of Cannabis!
The poems are full of great images, I particulary like "A black rain of hand-grenades, / men down like dominoes " (First Assault) and "They lift you out through your necklace / of cord, slippery and indignant" (Twins).
The poems are engaging, thoroughly enjoyable, some serious and some full of fun but the poems of the final Boudicca sequence beg to be read - each poem throws you onto the next one which, like an exciting novel, you can't put down until you've read to the end.
So definitely a worthwhile read.

Sylvia Plath Reads Ariel

I just love youtube, it's great being able to hear poets reading their own work. I like this video, the voice is Plath's.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Tracker

The Tracker

He dreams of fields of deer tracks,
hoof prints, rut marks on tree backs;

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Yes, it's been a while. I do apologise, however here's a poem I wrote tonight with which I'm reasonably pleased.

Girl collects signatures on Buchanan street

Talc-pale skin, thin legs
clad in tartan tights, feet shod

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Horizontal Star Jumper

In surrender you sleep
hands, palms open, raised

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Waiting

He’s climbing a castle ruin
at the top corner of the windscreen.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Following Surroundings I took some time to consider a list of contemporary poets I'd advise for new poetry readers and in doing so became very aware of how limited I am in my reading of living poets.

Anyway here's my list of 10 living poets, inevitably there is some overlap with others who also set out a list plus a strong Scottish presence:-

Simon Armitage
Seamus Heaney
Edwin Morgan
Wendy Cope
Mark Strand
Kathleen Jamie
Carol Ann Duffy
Derek Walcott
Liz Lochhead
Jo Shapcott

Some list stats include unintentional male/female equality which is pretty good considering the dizzy heights of poetrydom is, as in most fields, dominated by men. Also my list consists of 4 Scots, 3 English, 1 Irish, 1 Canadian, 1 West Indian.