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Tuesday 14 December 2010

Women were of Earth, Men of Somewhere else

This week's Pot Luck challenge from Jingle Poetry (here) specifies Hobbies, Passions, Pastimes, Entertainment. That is our theme for this week. Silly me, when I read it I somehow overlooked passion - not something I'm noted for doing! Whatever, so here is my passionless offering.

What a muddle children make of logic,
shaping worlds from iffy intuition!
Here's a good example (two or three, for I
am nothing if not generous): required
of every man - a hobby. Wisdom of
the ages: man sans hobby withers like
a leaf in Autumn - hence his need of sheds
or stamp collections, not to mention trains,
his golf clubs, painting easels - just to see
him through. A woman, though, has interests.
These may extend into the arts, but should
not be confused with a mere hobby.

Entertainments are for families, whole
groups of people, doing (often watching)
the same thing. Being rather socially
aligned, their special usefulness lies in
their bonding and cohesive powers.
Hobbies are considered slighter. Shallow.
Interests are somehow more profound -
or at the very least, more practical.
When hobbies start to grow more serious
they're labelled as obsessions - not at all
a happy thing. These are the insights that
I garnered through my childhood and my youth.
No one preached them. Like spirits they were there;
they wafted from the pictures on the walls,
the stalking and the sporting images;
we heard them in the knockings of the pipes,
we breathed them in with every breath of air.
They were like smiling faces from a fair.

I do not meet these attitudes so much
in these enlightened times... just now and then...
an aunt not seen since eighteen Christmases
ago, will ask what I've been up to since
that far off time. I write a bit, I'll say...
What? Mostly poetry! Then I confirm
that, no, my third collection is not due,
and no, I am not yet a millionaire...
It's just a hobby then? Would that be true?
I'm relegated to the bottom league.
She does not ask if there is one to read.

Not at all a Haiku

L.V.in her eye...
logo of her contact lens -
The Mona Lisa


David Cranmer said...

"She does not ask if there is one to read."

Great final line and I've been there.

Bagman and Butler said...

Love the poem -- and the haiku for dessert.

Kat Mortensen said...

I found myself smiling at the arguments (if you will) in the first two verses. I laughed at the hobbies to obsessions bit and then nodding all the way through the last verse. Why is it that poetry is met in this way?
I've been semi-acknowledged by family and friends since self-publishing, but now they expect me to get out there and really flog it. I'm not a sales-person; I'm a poet. Now they want me to prove myself against literary giants.
That's not why I do it and I suspect, nor do you.

Love the not-haiku. It's early and I had to nudge the brain a bit to work out the L.V. Then I had a massive ah-ha!


Tabor said...

I might have been greedier and asked you to write one for me! Ah, yes, obsessions, which we do not fear so much in old age because they do not interfere so much any more.

Unknown said...

An innocent pastime, 'tis all, Dave!

Helen said...

Well there you have it ~ the definitive difference between hobby and interest! It's a gender thing!
Great Jingle, Dave!

Dave King said...

I suspect you typed that with feeling! Thanks, it helps.

Bagman and Butler
Good to know. Thanks.

No, like you, I am not in that game at all. I did way back try publishing a novel, but very green and busy at work at the time, not doing the research and not understanding the difference between self-publishing and Vanity publishing, it fluttered briefly and then died a natural death. When I started to blog I got asked all the time how many hits I was getting (I think the expectations were in millions!) but never once, what the blog was about.

Thanks for your comments. As I said to David, very helpful.

... and passions - isn't it amazing how the meaning of that word changes with age!

Ah, there's the rub!

When it comes down to it, what isn't a gender thing? Solve that, and we will have achieved world peace!

Raj said...

interesting that. and amusing too.

Louise said...

I have always hated that word hobby. I hate everything about it, and your wonderful wonderful poem covered so much. I was at a wedding once,and a husband of a friend, said to me about my writing, 'what a nice hobby'. I still haven't forgiven him!!!

Anonymous said...

What a treat..

thoughtful and insightful take.
masterful job!


Windsmoke. said...

What's the saying "Men are from Mars", "Woman are from Venus". The male and female brains are wired differently thus different hobbies for different reasons.

Dave King said...

Thanks for that.

120 socks
Many thanks for the reply. I think 'What a nice hobby!' exemplifies it admirably.

Jingle Poetry
That is good to know. Thanks.

True, but like 120 socks, I stumble over the word 'hobby'.