This week the Poetry Bus has more or less broken down. A relief driver has arrived but things are in a bit of disarray. That gives me an opportunity to do my own thing for one Monday - so I beg your attention please.
I know that my greatest fault in writing is that I wax far too lyrical. Where one word is appropriate I am inclined to use six. I am aware of the fact but that doesn't seem to help me to curb the habit. So please can I crave your indulgence for a few minutes.
Last week if you read my blog you will know that I saw a young fox. It really made my day and the image I am sure will stay with me for ever. So I thought to write a poem about it. I scribbled down all my ideas - the main thing being that I was struck by his confidence which made me pretty sure he had not lived through a hunting season and had therefore not yet learned to fear man.
As usual my poem was far too long, rather sentimental and pretty turgid stuff. I showed it to my friend, Joan, who is a much better poet than I can every hope to be.
She was kind in that she didn't criticise but did point out one line which she liked!
Then I showed it to Dominic, my son, who is also a much better poet than me. He was much more honest and more or less said it was rubbish. He reminded me of the Ezra Pound quotation which is something along the lines of - if you have to say 'the desolation of loneliness' then you have not got over the feeling of desolation'. I really thought about this. My son said 'avoid 'of' like the plague.
So here, dear Monday readers, I bare my poetic soul by putting on my blog the first rubbish, sentimental version and the pared down version I ended up with. Will you please be my severest critics?
with feisty youth -
you streak over the wall.
No hunt has yet
wrought fear of man
to make you slink,
in impenetrable places
til darkness lends you
Before feral life
blemishes your fiery coat
flaunt your foxiness and
print your sparkling image
in my mind.
over the wall.
til darkness lends you
Help! Don't be bashful about saying what you think. You will not offend me - I don't want people to say it is 'lovely' as it is - I want you to criticise it in the hopes that I can come up with a final definitive version (if that is possible in poetry). And thank you in advance for taking the trouble to read it and think about it.