Poetry Awry

Poetry Awry

A Poem by JohnL
"

For Emma's 'What If' Contest - Oh Emma, I'm sorry about this one.

"

 

POETRY AWRY
 
What if Wordsworth had wandered
Lonely as a homeless mortgage defaulter
Among - - - night scented stock?
Dove cottage bailiff-bonded?
Or Brooke had chosen to alter
Grantchester’s old church clock
And squandered
The money for tea time honey
At half past three
Then had coffee at four.
 
Come on - - tell me do
What if Shakespeare’s Jew
Was to compare thee to
A Winter’s night - in Venice,
Would Sonnet 18 still read “Temperate”
Would I strive to keep my head
When all around are fraught with menace
When Kipling’s verse
Makes things worse
And I am not a man
Or a son – and Keats cheats?
What if,
 Masefield must not go down to the sea
And Drake down below – is awake?
Would the Don sight Devon?
 
How will it be if poetry,
Our sweet, sweet cup
Is shaken up
And goes awry?
What if Sheikh Abou Ben Adam
Sees my name but not his own
In the angel’s golden book
Retiring, sulking to some Arab souk.
 
This to our trade can not apply
Our heritage must stand
Poet planned. So!
What if all goes back a-right
And this is just an awful fright
What if that loud noise I hear - -
Ring! Ring! Ring!- - Is my alarm clock
Ringing loud and bright and clear.
 I wake while Drake, below, sleeps on
While my clock’s hands say half past seven
At Grantchester it’s ten to three
There’s  tea with honey for the first eleven
All’s now right with the world, you see–
All’s right for me, All’s right in heaven.
     
                   John L. Berry 28 February 2009

 

 

© 2009 JohnL


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John, this is wonderful! So many names I'm aware of, but unfamiliar with--Regrettably, English Literature was not highly esteemed in the 1960's California High Schools' agendas. I'm sure many of your subtle allusions were lost to me, more's the pity,but those I did catch, interspersed with your unpredictable rhyming and the occasional British social reference, had me in stitches! Granny Bea expressed very succinctly the frustration we elders feel at the state of American poetry AND education today. If it was rarified air in 1968, it is a virtual vacuum in 2008.Thank God for websites like WC where the MPVI can be exposed to good grammar, correct spelling, proper syntax and REAL POETRY!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

This just brought a smile to my face, then a laugh and another! Quite brilliantly you stroll in and out of time, poets, and their wondrous craft, weaving for us a world of wildry. And in your poetry awry we learn a bit of literature too! Perfect!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This made me laugh SO HARD. It's like an English major's dream come true - hilarious poetry that mocks a good many well-known poets and does it WELL! You're brilliant, you know that?

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

John, this is wonderful! So many names I'm aware of, but unfamiliar with--Regrettably, English Literature was not highly esteemed in the 1960's California High Schools' agendas. I'm sure many of your subtle allusions were lost to me, more's the pity,but those I did catch, interspersed with your unpredictable rhyming and the occasional British social reference, had me in stitches! Granny Bea expressed very succinctly the frustration we elders feel at the state of American poetry AND education today. If it was rarified air in 1968, it is a virtual vacuum in 2008.Thank God for websites like WC where the MPVI can be exposed to good grammar, correct spelling, proper syntax and REAL POETRY!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Oh John...this was priceless!!!

I just love the English poets...always have. When my classmates were grumbling about the required reading, I was ten poets ahead of them...reading just for sheer pleasure!! Byron, Keats, Shelley, ALL of them. I received honors in Drama School, because I was so well versed in Shakespeare, and assumed the roles with ease!

Since you're still a youngster, compared to me (75 vs 81) I'm sure you lament the changes poetry has gone through since we were young. Believe it or not...here in the states...young people equate poetry with RAP!!!! Now poetry is an elective in some schools...it's not rerquired. I also adore Wordswoth, Frost, Emily Dickenson, Poe etc. But my most favorite is The Rubyiat of Omar Khayyam...every stanza has a nugget of wisdom. My husband and I read it to each other many times, before he died...it brought us such comfort.

One of our favorite lines is :
Would but some winged angel ere too late
Arrest the yet unfolded roll of fate
And make the stern recorder otherwise
Enregister, or quite obliterate!"

Ah yes...if we could only erase our mistakes...what a run on erasers there would be!!!!

Beatrice Boyle (Grandma Bea)


This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


A rather brilliant collage you've constructed here. Love it. What's more, you're a poet my friend.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


John, this is brilliantly written! I'm laughing and laughing!

How very clever of you to combine so many facets of English literature and make them flow and fit together so beautifully - and funnily too .. talk about giving value for money!

That opening stanza had me laughing, then giggling - ' Or Brooke had chosen to alter /Grantchester's old church clock /And squandered /The money for tea time honey /At half past three / Then had coffee at four. ' Then, you had me going again at - 'Would I strive to keep my head / When all around are fraught with menace /When Kipling's verse /Makes things worse /And I am not a manOr a son � and Keats cheats?'

Oh i could go on and on picking out wonderfully clever and fun lines, but i'm being greedy so will say..

Thank you for sharing such a unique piece of writing :))
'

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


what if?

so many thoughts to ponder . . . good luck in the contest!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago



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Added on February 28, 2009
Last Updated on November 28, 2009
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JohnL
JohnL

Wirral Peninsula, United Kingdom



About
I live in England, and love the English countryside, the music of Elgar and Holst which describes it so beautifully and the poetry of John Clare, the 'peasant poet' and Gerard Manley Hopkins, which d.. more..

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