A Carol Ann for a Duffy Christmas

A cold coming they had of it:

the sand soft, the rocks hard;


in their arriving was their departing

and to depart was not to have arrived;


‘No coloured. No camels. No Persians.’


‘Sorry dear we’re full..

try the tents behind the YM..’


In our beginning is our end.


Da. Damyata. Dayadvam.

◄ For Kit, Justin, Leon, Crispin

Bereavement ►


<Deleted User> (6560)

Wed 16th Dec 2009 20:30

Ann, I'd go along with that. Isn't that the admirable principle of WOL -- self-expression and communication first ? Then as with any art or craft, if you want to experiment you look to what others have done.. but still do your own thing in the end.
It's when money and career beckon that arts get competitive and all the other stuff like 'getting known' comes in. Fortunately, there's no money in poetry !

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Ann Foxglove

Wed 16th Dec 2009 20:07

Re: grovelling, I didn't feel in the least insulted, just in case you did mean me! It's funny, all my life I have been interested in art, and feel that I know a bit about it. But poetry is very new to me. When I write, it feels to me that I am a child expressing myself. It suits me and it does me good. If someone was painting a picture I could criticise or comment from some base of informed knowledge, but regarding poetry, I can't really compete in that way. But it doesn't worry me at all, I just go my own sweet way. But maybe that's as irritating to a "proper" poet as some of the people who say, re painting "I know what I like". Whatever, doesn't really matter more than that old hill of beans, and now I am discovering other poets, thats good too. ;-)

<Deleted User> (6560)

Wed 16th Dec 2009 19:20

oops. Touchy lot, poets. No wonder some call this site Fight Out Loud. Me grovel. Never meant to be élitist. Just like doing pastiche, learn that way. No need to read any other poet; but TSEliot did discover a new way of writing poetry, which I think is like Cubism or film montage -- fragments of speech or thought which you have to put together in your own mind. Sort of detached, objective. Almost documentary ?
But I was amused at the idea that the Magi, after travelling all that way, found the same accommodation problems as the Holy Family..

Is anyone old enough to remember when landladies in poorer districts had notices on the window 'No Coloured. No Dogs. No Irish.'...?

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 16th Dec 2009 17:55

Michael, would you kindly rephrase your comment that follows Ann's. Is 'Grovel' an order to Ann (or me), or a stage direction to yourself in this 'play' of words. I need clarification of intent of the entire comment. Ann can fight for herself. And there's the rub - why on earth did 'fight' come to mind?

<Deleted User> (7164)

Tue 15th Dec 2009 21:19

I keep coming back to this one.
Enjoyed reading it very much. I admit i've not read much of CAD's work. It's on my to do list though over Christmas since i watched her on the South Bank show last week.


<Deleted User> (6560)

Tue 15th Dec 2009 20:38

Grovel. Since poetry is above all, self-expression, should we be expected to read practised poets ? Would it make any difference to WOL poetry ? I guess it's a personal thing, and who your audience is..

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Ann Foxglove

Tue 15th Dec 2009 20:25

Oooh these comments make me feel so THICK - I don't know what you're talking about! I thought my problem would be that I don't know anything about Carol Ann Duffy's poetry - how wrong I was! But it's fascinating anyway! ;-)

<Deleted User> (6560)

Mon 14th Dec 2009 19:53

Cynthia -- for a microsecond, your photo appeared on the home page of WOL -- but came and went far too quickly and I couldn't backtrack to it... did I catch a red jacket ?
Our Liverpool Poet Laureate wrote a Christmas poem for 2009 full of the world's misdeeds... good fun in an intellectual way.
This little squib is a take-off of TSEliot's style in three poems. We élitists like to show off in case there are any other élitists -- or well-read poets, hhrrmm -- listening...
Anyway, have a magi-cal Christmas...


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 14th Dec 2009 19:37

I am going to look up the last three words - they must be really important. I do really like this; very Middle Eastern in philosophy as is so much of the Bible.

But before I do, the idea of the three Magi came to mind - and Zoroastrianism. (not sure that's spelled right). Don't care if I look like an ijit. I don't get the title. Must be elitist humour.

AHA! not so far off the mark! I had made an educated guess at Hindi (don't know why it didn't post); but it is Sanskrit.

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