In The Belly of The Wail

I’ve rather been in the poet’s cave, like some old catfish under a stone. I would love to have emerged brandishing the final Truth in poetry. What winkled me out was a subject that arose in Emma Calin’s blog where she mentioned the enmity between her parents. I always tell folk that I emerged from an egg like a turtle and scurried for the surf. However, there is much poetry about parenthood and I have contributed to it a little in my own poor way.

My favourite parent poem is by the English poet Philip Larkin. No one could ever have viewed him as cheerful. I think many Brits of my own generation will still be very aware of him, but poetry still had some kind of main stream potency in those days, a bit like an express steam train. Here is his poem “This Be the Verse“.

I’m sure that cheered you all up. Looking back I think that my awareness of this pessimistic poem while I was bringing up my own kids, at least made me aware that I was getting it wrong. Judging by the tracks in the sand, they should be competent turtles.


And talking of sand, I have been walking on it. Living near the coast, I’m sure I take for granted my opportunities to see the ocean. I managed to scramble under a pier and took the featured photo. There is something darkly sinister about pillars and dark water.

Comrade poets – unite with me and enjoy a poem by the American poet Jo VonBargen entitled “The Garden”. If nothing else check out the last 6 lines. Her style in this poem is rich and sensual and will inject some complex passionate irony back into your veins. At once Pre Raphaelite images  flooded my mind. Pure overdose my dears.

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