How to Not Write a Poem
Hi! This is my first entry (scary :S) so I thought I'd start with a poem I've read out a few times now, because that's slightly less intimidating than putting up new material. This piece is called 'How to Not Write a Poem'
And what shall I write?
It could be a haiku that I tell to you
Of observations made that we once knew
Or imbue the strange hue of society’s view
And two dead men shall talk to one another
As we stand out cold in the blue.
The schools chew out new prisoners
And 2 plus 2 makes 5 now,
Or some crap like that.
But they also said that we were through, and every day
The numbers grew and the coffins queued
Outside the cemetery gates. The soldier crew
Made their debut to force the
Enemy to subdue. All this
Hullaballoo has gone askew, and what,
We gonna bomb them back
Into the stone age again?
At the end leave only a baby’s shoe.
But that’s a little bit taboo, and so for now we’ll say adieu.
I could write a sonnet but it’s so cliché
And I wouldn’t know what to say.
A ballad too, a Mary-sue:
It’s just not really my thing thank-you.
A nursery rhyme? How sublime!
From times that have now passed
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall?
Well it’s his own bloody fault for sitting on the wall
When he didn’t have any balance at all.
And I wouldn’t have cried at Georgie’s kisses
But how he ran from those boys’ hisses
And how cupid’s arrow truly misses its mark on me.
And why put a baby in a tree
When it’s gonna break? You must agree
It’s lunacy! I plea to hush them any other way.
And I never lost my pocket, though if I had
I bet that Kitty Fischer would have nicked the lot,
And when did the bells of London start to talk?
I walk the streets without a squawk from them
But I pray that they will say something today;
But that’s only child’s play.
And the tradition every year to get together
And sing remember remember about a man
Who had a plan and burn him on a fire.
What a fun night, kids.
Maybe you should’ve sung the last verse, Mum, in which Molly Malone dies.
I don’t think I would’ve cried.
But is this what you want to see?
Shall I write of birds and love and trees?
Is that what you want of me?
Am I now writing poetry?
And do you expect us to sit in coffee bars
And discuss Joyce and beheaded green knights and –
Okay, well, we have done that. But we’ve also
Sat in pubs discussing Twilight, so it’s all in balance really.
And what, do I have to quote like Eliot? Sell it
In hits of nature with some wit.
Will my message then transmit? Is it now legit?
Booze by any other name would taste as sweet
And get you just as drunk
How low now have I sunk?
Okay, so I will write of love from heaven’s above,
Except that it doesn’t work like that.
We date, and I have to say I think it is going well;
If by well I mean swell we could dwell
On the ways by which my heart is
Bewitched, and count - by clock - the mount
Of my beating tock. But to ascertain
Affection as though it were a mathematical
Equation - by Jove, we couldn’t and shouldn’t,
Wouldn’t assess the invasion of Cupid’s dear
Persuasion. And though downpour could take
Its toll and let us loll apart, it’d be sheer
Folly to hide beneath separate brollies; because,
As I’m sure I’ve said, it’s been quite pleasant
And if perhaps I had to desist
Would it be my eyes that resist, and
Dismiss your jist, or rather my lips
That persist in missing your kiss.
Could I list the ways in which
I slam my fist?
Oh, but why would I want to fly out of my
Pure sweet lure, I cannot know. For so far the
Fire has boiled with desire and I’d be a liar to
Call the situation dire. Or even risk the brisk
Pace with the face of our decisions.
It’d be a crime. Oh, it’d be a crime.