‘Bye bye blackbird’ by Ray Pool is Write Out Loud’s Poem of the Week

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With his poem Bye Bye Blackbird,  Write Out Loud regular Ray Pool finds himself awarded the accolade of Poem of the Week for the second time. Members of our team met up at a Walthamstow tea-room, ate our weight in scones and jam, and put together a fresh set of questions for Ray to answer....  


Is there a particular style of poetry which you enjoy writing more than others? If so, why?
I enjoy the challenge of writing on several levels. One is to produce a poem that describes a feeling I might experience.  Sometimes a theme that interests me will come to mind again: again I wish to involve the reader. In some cases, I may want to experiment with wordplay for its own sake, that may be hard to analyse.  I can't settle to any one style. but I try to exploit humour as a signature.


What three things would you say are the most important when performing one’s poetry at open-mic nights?
The important things I have found during live readings are: rapport and eye contact with the audience, a clear and expressive diction, and allowing the words to breathe using pauses and inflections to suit the type of poem.


What influences you most in the poetry world?
To be honest I think I am a bit isolationist re: influences, being fairly self-sufficient, although I am constantly influenced by some outstanding live mic readers.  I merely seek to perfect my own self-expression.  Great poets like Dylan Thomas , Heaney and Hughes are always an inspiration.  I am quite readily influenced by great authors, who too can be poetic in style.  What does affect me are malapropisms, slang and variations in accents. I like to try anything!


Which four persons, living or dead, would you like to share your last meal with?
My last meal choices would be Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore, Anthony Hopkins and my wife, as she would enjoy them too.

Bye Bye Blackbird.
by Ray Pool

Something about that eye
not seeing,
not knowing me there
is like a dream
of soaring free
the gripping of a branch
consensual sex on the wing.
Beside me now on the spade
while clawing at nothing,
it seems unconcerned
while the bright beads of bluebottles
steer her to the earth.


◄ War Girls: Women Poets of the First World War

The English River: Virginia Astley, Bloodaxe ►


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Sun 22nd Jul 2018 21:38

Thanks for adding your voice Des. It's gratifying to get so many on this occasion!



Sun 22nd Jul 2018 21:30

Great poem Ray, like it lots. Well deserved POTW.

All the best des

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Sun 22nd Jul 2018 10:07

Hi John. It's nice to have a parallel drawn with Dylan Thomas; that poem is like a furore of grief. Mine is a gentle little affair, but thanks for the comparison. There is a sequel: the partner now still comes to the garden but no longer sings, only a sort of death rattle, so sad now..


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John Marks

Sat 21st Jul 2018 12:43

Well composed Ray. Reminds me of a phrase by Dylan Thomas, I think, "the dying of the light" but also in this case, the silence of the song.


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Fri 20th Jul 2018 12:35

That's a thought Darren - it leads you on though - my wife says my poems aren't long enough as it is. There you go. Thanks!

HI Jennifer - please, no self trashing. The bird on the spade goes into the earth with bluebottles accompanying her. Awight?



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jennifer Malden

Thu 19th Jul 2018 21:25

Hello Ray!

Lovely poem - well deserved POW. Being as thick as a post don't get who the 'she' is in the last two line?


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Darren J Beaney

Thu 19th Jul 2018 12:00

Wonderful words Ray, I really like the first stanza, is works really well and I think works just as well standing alone.

Well done!


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Tue 17th Jul 2018 19:30

I am delighted that my short piece is gaining favour and thank all for the lovely comments.

Stu, I was quite inspired by a pamphlet I am reading which just taught me to go for the sweet spot . The experience was fairly upsetting as I buried the blackbird. Thanks.

Keith, i'm grateful to be read as you suggest - it means a lot. Cheers.

Suki, I recall your welcome comment from before - there needs to be a betting site attached! I'm especially happy as I edited it down.

Thank you Brian, appreciated.

Thank you too Anya. (!!!)

Cheers Pat. All the best!

Yes thanks Graham; it's nice to know you enjoyed this simple poem.

Col, too kind. Hope the weekend went to plan.

That's a full blown liking, which i'm liking Martin thank you.

Nice to have your support in reading my stuff Hannah. And vice versa.

Thanks Kevin, who says there is a north south divide!!

Lovely of you Rachel, so pleased.

I can't miss out my good friend Wolfgar, who cannot contribute here, but who contacted me to say how much he thought of the poem.


Tue 17th Jul 2018 12:32

..glad to have this opportunity to say I'm not surprised at all--it's a fine piece of writing, Ray.


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kJ Walker

Mon 16th Jul 2018 22:09

Congratulations on being POW. I always enjoy all your work, so was glad to see you being granted this accolade.

Cheers Kevin

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Hannah Collins

Mon 16th Jul 2018 20:51

Well done Ray.
I loved this poem first time I read it.
So well deserved to be POTW.


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Martin Elder

Mon 16th Jul 2018 17:40

This is beautiful not only in your choice of words and phrasing but the simplicity of using just a few words to express what you want to say and touch others. Fabulous Ray.
Many hearty congratulations


<Deleted User> (13762)

Mon 16th Jul 2018 16:09

Well done Ray. Just arrived home after a weekend away and what better news to read than this. Super little poem. All the best, Col.

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 16th Jul 2018 12:06

I'll just repeat my comments when this was first posted...................

"Ray, sometimes I read a piece here on WOL and I swear blind it has been lifted from a classic poetry book. This lovely read is pure poetry, a stunningly simple, breathtaking piece".

Superb, chapeau!

Pat Hughes

Mon 16th Jul 2018 11:43

Brilliant work as always.

<Deleted User> (18980)

Mon 16th Jul 2018 08:53

Congrats Ray

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suki spangles

Mon 16th Jul 2018 08:47

Hi Ray,

I should have put a bet on at Ladbrooks ~
wasn't sure which one of your offerings from last week would win but was hoping one of them would receive the accolade. Brilliant. Perfect poem.


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keith jeffries

Mon 16th Jul 2018 08:35

Good Morning Ray,
Congratulations on this well earned accolade. Your poetry is always of interest. You are valued more than you will ever know for your words of wisdom which are often tinged with humour.
Thank you for being one of us all.

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Stu Buck

Mon 16th Jul 2018 08:34

Excellent choice. I happen to think this is the finest thing you have ever written Ray.

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