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Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Poetry lesson

After yesterday's beach walk
I asked you to look at "Shells",
the poem by Ted Hughes, for prep.

I am now going to read it to you
in such a way as to leave time for thought.
Use the time. Think about the words,
what they suggest to you,
what pictures come into your mind
and how you might have described them
in the unlucky event
that you had been Ted Hughes!

            Shells by Ted Hughs

Shells white, shells brown, sea-shells
Tumbled by sea, cry,
     as we tumbled, losing our balance,
     together as one, in the waves

Swarm the foam's edge, twittering shoals,
a jostle of curiosity -
     always the curious one, my angel,
     me loving her for it, she
     loving the shoals and knowing them all by name.

But they screech as the wave hauls,
     screeching for joy, toppled by breakers
or, cast bare, gleam dry.

From that gigantic bed of the sea
     Was it gigantic, that bed of ours?
Where darkness on Time
Begets pearl, monster and anemone
Only shells come
To chatter of emptiness, or lie
     We chattered and lay...
lovely as dumb.
     she lovely as dumb.

10 comments:

Jim Murdoch said...

Never seen this done before. A truly original approach, a poem within a poem. Very good.

Elisabeth said...

Absolutely haunting, Dave, everything I've ever known about Hughes wells up to the surface. Noisy images.

Sailor said...

You are a very creative poet. All poets are creative and you are extra creative.
Cruise Pictures

Isabel Doyle said...

A very evocative piece,Dave. I can taste the brine and feel the wind, as well as hear the eerie voice of the poet(s). Well done.

Corinna said...

Gorgeous and evocative. Nicely done.

The Weaver of Grass said...

The trouble is, as I see it, that when you have the talent of Ted Hughes you often have the turmoil of personality to go with it. I think that comes over in this poem - even a simple sea shell takes on a train of thought that leads to emotions.

Windsmoke. said...

I can hear the crashing of the waves and the howling of the wind in the shell you put up to your ear and smell the brine :-).

Dave King said...

Jim
Thanks Jim. A bit of an experiment, good to have feedback.

Elisabeth
Thanks Elisabeth. It took me a while to get into Hughes, but now the more of him I read, the more I think of him.

Sailor
That's really good of you to say that.

Isabel
And yoou have the beginning of a poem right there. Thanks so much.

Corrina

Thanks. Much appreciated.

The Weaver of Grass
Yes, I think that's very perceptive of you. I was trying to think of others iitt might apply to, and yes, I think you may have something there.

Windsmoke
I used to enjoy those sounds, I remember. Not so much now I have them all the time.

Helen said...

I read this three times ... fascinating how the work flows, poem within poem.

Dave King said...

Helen
Thanks. Good to know you got something from it. Thanks for the feedback.