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Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Correspondence School Instructor Says Goodbye to His Poetry Students.

Doing the rounds yesterday, I called in at the Rinkly Rhymes blog, where I discovered a response to a competition challenge, the task being to take the first line of a poem by Elizabeth Bishop and construct a new poem from it. This seemed like a fun thing to do. Not restricting myself to one author, I opened my Norton at random (page 1741) and chose the title above. I confess I had not heard of either.

Goodbye,lady in Bangor who sent me
the shaving mug with an image of me
as George Bernard Shaw. Goodbye "Mechanic
on Line". Pornographic verse such as yours,
inscribed with initials (ours intertwined)
are not to my taste. Bless you, "Old Bardic
Thug", for your thoughts and kind wishes. You may,
as you say, have inherited Shakespeare's
flair for the sonnet, so thanks once again
for the quill and "The Bees in the Bonnet",
though I wondered about the sixteen lines -
a simple mistake or a modern touch?

All-in-all, a most successful session:
two virgin poets published in "The Bog"!
That can't be bad - and one collection to
be "looked at" by an editor I know.
There's nothing "deviant" about your verse,
"Small Cornish Pixie in the Wood". Perhaps
it might help you to gain a broader view
of what is normal if you mixed more with
the general crowd, not just with poets.
I shall treasure the ditty and not be
upset in the slightest by the images!
We all felt very chastened, I am sure,
by Geoffrey's demonstration of his link
to Chaucer, but the highlight of the term,
"The Rapper's Dream of Home", by "Elsie Clone",
had us, as they say, "in stitches", for the
hour it took for her to read it through. A
word to the performance poets: please look
for new material next term. Some stuff
without the cliches - failing which, you might
make them the point of what you do. Try to
send them up, they way you do the people
you portray. Searching for the word that best
describes the group, "imaginative" was
the first to spring to mind. The task that lies
before you is to use that quality
to give your subjects greater depth, explore
them as you might as scientists. Do not
be satisfied with mere embroidery.

This poem has been added to this week's offerings on One Stop Poetry


Isabel Doyle said...

Oh what fun Mr King - were your ideas enriched by experience or was that all the work of the Muse again?

This is perfect.

Dave King said...

Thanks for that. No, no experience to enrich it, I fear, just making it up as I went along.

Gerry Snape said...

How do you do that Dave...I'm in Awe!?

Tabor said...

Nicely done...I like the humorous images and the tongue in cheek relationship the teacher had with his students.

Sebab said...

Beautiful as always!

Dave King said...

Not sure, do what exactly? I like the "awe" bit, though. Thanks!

Thanks Tabor. I tried to think of what the students might be like, and then how the tutor would react. Reminds me: I still haven't read the original. I'm off to do that now.


Lolamouse said...

I'm still laughing! Loved this! It's perfect timing too, as I was looking into taking an online college poetry course since I've never "studied" poetry in any academic sense. Now I'm questioning whether I should!