Lord Wankdust's Poetry Edits… Unit 1:01

Best Gore Forums Chill Out Zone Poetry Lord Wankdust's Poetry Edits… Unit 1:01

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    • #153764
      Lord Wankdust

      I have a great fondness for poetry. I love the way it can encapsulate so much in (often) so few words. However, many poets were a little over-enthusiastic and far too generous with their words. Given the 100 year anniversary of the end of WW1 I felt that I’d kick off this thread with Laurence Binyon’s “For The Fallen”. I have trimmed his 7 4-line stanzas down to 2. This robust edit also handily removes all the “dying for the Motherland” pish from the WW1 era and makes this a more memorable, contemporary and even eternal poem for anyone who has simply lost someone who was simply too young.

      “For The Fallen” by Laurence Binyon

      They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
      Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
      At the going down of the sun and in the morning
      We will remember them.

      As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
      Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
      As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
      To the end, to the end, they remain.

      My old granny (long dead now) never forgot her little brother who died in late 1918 after serving four years at the front. He was killed in Arras just weeks before the end of WW1. In the mid-1970s she still spoke of him. She used to hold my hands and say I looked like “Wee Hector“.

    • #153765
      Lord Wankdust

      I grew up in Robert Burns country. Ayrshire. I love Burns because he had poetry in his blood and being. Like many Scots I feel the single greatest line of poetry ever written comes at the end of the second verse of “Mary Morison”. Although the poem is 3 verses long and they are all beautiful, I think the image of the young man looking around the dance at the lovely women there and sighing because Mary is not there is blistering in its simplicity.

      Yestreen when to the trembling string
      The dance gaed through the lighted ha’,
      To thee my fancy took its wing,
      I sat, but neither heard, nor saw:
      Though this was fair, and that was braw,
      And yon the toast of a’ the town,
      I sigh’d, and said amang them a’,
      ‘Ye are na Mary Morison.’

    • #153767
      Lord Wankdust

      Robert Burns “O wert thou in the cauld blast” is currently nudging up the league table as well. Written on his death bed (last thing he ever completed) in gratitude to the young Dumfries nurse Jessie Lewars who tended to Burns as he lay dying. It is simple yet holds a mighty power. This version by Alasdair MacDonald is perfect.


      O, wert thou in the cauld blast
      On yonder lea, on yonder lea,
      My plaidie to the angry airt,
      I’d shelter thee, I’d shelter thee,
      Or did Misfortune’s bitter storms
      Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
      Thy bield should be my bosom,
      To share it a’, to share it a’.

      Or were I in the wildest waste,
      Sae black and bare, sae black and bare,
      The desert were a Paradise,
      If thou wert there, if thou wert there.
      Or were I monarch of the globe,
      Wi’ thee to reign, wi’ thee to reign,
      The brightest jewel in my crown
      Wad be my queen, wad be my queen.

    • #153789
      Empty soul

      Robert Burns is a poet that on paper does very little for me.

      However. When read like a song or when listened to as a ditty his words take on a whole new life and stir emotion within the heart.

      I get the impression then that he wrote his poems with folk music in mind.

      I loved Bert Jansch and he always had a bit of Burns about his style too.

    • #154252
      Lord Wankdust

      Burns is always better read aloud or sung. Most of his poems were written to music.

      I met Bert J a few times and saw him play many more times. He even autographed my “Needle of Death” EP sleeve. His “Blackwaterside” became a massive Led Zep tune but B J mever gave a toss about that. Jansch was a poet through and through.
      Burns is always better in musical settings… and in my humble opinion… the folkier the settings the better. Some classical settings have been created which I feel strangle the human feel of his direct poetry. Simple folk settings transform the Burns on the written page into verses of sublime subtlety and eternal depth.

      “Who can say that Fortune grieves him?
      While the Star of Hope she leads him?
      Me? Nae cheerful twinkle lights me.
      Dark despair around benights me…”

      Oh my.

      • #154260
        Empty soul

        I’m jealous you got to meet Jansch. He was great on his own and great as part of a band like Pentangle.

        As for Burns, I don’t think I would like hearing his work in a classical style and I say that as a lover of classical music. I expect it would sound very overpowering and cold rather than tender and warm as it should be.

        Burns is a personal experience. It’s a chair next to a log fireplace with booze at hand. Not a cold room full of strangers.

        Folk is definitely the best style of music for poetry in my opinion because it is designed for the personal experience and I do like folk music a lot. Clannad being an excellent example of the kind of folk music I like to listen to. Cara Dillon is quite good as well.

    • #154328
      GDPR Harvester

      Thank you my Lord, I found the first one stupendous… but later they navigate with words way beyond my comprehension. :P, Loss is a powerful feeling, no words can really describe… I also find music really helps poetry archive its purpose of transmitting feeling, but the one you brought does a great job.

    • #156299
      Lord Wankdust

      I always kinda liked Stephen Spender. I really like this Modernist poem. It is like a short film which the poet simply runs in the reader’s head. I like how the camera of Time zooms back through the Croquet Hoops to the head of the mallet and all is triggered by the distinctive smell of a brand of soap. I’m sure we’ve all been transported back in time by such a thing. Though I am sure not all of us can recall childhoods playing croquet on the lawns of country houses…

      Soap Suds

      This brand of soap has the same smell as once in the big
      House he visited when he was eight: the walls of the bathroom open
      To reveal a lawn where a great yellow ball rolls back through a hoop
      To rest at the head of a mallet held in the hands of a child.

      And these were the joys of that house: a tower with a telescope;
      Two great faded globes, one of the earth, one of the stars;
      A stuffed black dog in the hall; a walled garden with bees;
      A rabbit warren; a rockery; a vine under glass; the sea.

      To which he has now returned. The day of course is fine
      And a grown-up voice cries Play! The mallet slowly swings,
      Then crack, a great gong booms from the dog-dark hall and the ball
      Skims forward through the hoop and then through the next and then

      Through hoops where no hoops were and each dissolves in turn
      And the grass has grown head-high and an angry voice cries Play!
      But the ball is lost and the mallet slipped long since from the hands
      Under the running tap that are not the hands of a child.

    • #181935


    • #182832
      Lord Wankdust

      Okay. A E Houseman bounces up the the crease to bat for England. And I’m gonna let him. He kept things nice and short, brief and to the mother-fucking point. My favourite kind of Poet and Poem.


      Blue Remembered Hills

      These are actually mu own Blue Remembered Hills. A photo taken at sunset across some Galloway Hills near Thornhill (there are actually spires and farms just out of sight). It was taken four or five years back in good company. Don’t you sometimes wish you could just have one more day of your Youth or one more day with someone.

      Houseman is in da house. Way up A E!

      • #182869

        Nice photo. I love the lavender and orange sunset. Is that a conifer to the left in the foreground?

        • #182982
          Lord Wankdust

          It is a Beech Tree to the left sillhouetted against the sky. There is a small stand of conifers to the left side in profile against the Blue Well-Remembered Hills. The foreground is near Crichope Linn (where I was photographing Robert Burns initials which he carved into the stone there) and the hills are Auchengibbert Hill and the Kier Hills near Tynron and Penpont. Beautiful.

        • #182986

          Nice. How silly of me. The tree did look too bare-leaved to be a conifer. Beech it is .

          I just saw a movie re Robert The Bruce with Chris Pine called “Outlaw King”. Mediocre but good for blood and guts and excellent cinematography etc.

          Anyway, next time.

    • #183242
      Lord Wankdust

      Next up it is Patrick Kavanagh. A lovely poem “On Raglan Road”. An infatuation doomed from the outset? Damned right. She was a Dublin beauty called Hilda Moriarty and Patrick had two chances – none & fuck all. But he tried and failed and had his heart broken.

      On Raglan Road

      On Raglan Road on an autumn day I met her first and knew
      That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
      I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way,
      And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.

      On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge
      Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion’s pledge,
      The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay –
      O I loved too much and by such and such is happiness thrown away.

      I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign that’s known
      To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone
      And word and tint. I did not stint for I gave her poems to say.
      With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May

      On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now
      Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
      That I had wooed not as I should a creature made of clay –
      When the angel woos the clay he’d lose his wings at the dawn of day.

      Now what could possibly improve this poem? Maybe only getting Ivan Morrison to sing an arrangement of it at my old Alma Mater. I was there in the audience for this back in 1988.

      Kinda lovely eh?

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