Archive for May, 2007

The Dialectrics of Hunger

I’ve not been very active for a while on the blogging front. However, I was encouraged to find that a couple of new comments have been posted on my blog whilst I’ve been away. Like I Beatrice, I am convinced that blogging is the way to go and it’s green After watching the ‘Dispatches’ programme on channel four last week, I am renewing my efforts at recycling.

So, what do I write? At the moment this blog is a mixture of poetry and reflection. I’ll keep it that way for now. I had a look in my NaPoWriMo folder and wrote a poem from a freewrite I did to the prompt of ‘hunger’. I’ve finally moved on from T S Eliot anf am now studying the Marxist poet and playwright, Bertolt Brecht. I haven’t read any of Brecht’s poems but have enjoyed his play Life of Galileo. Watching Brecht’s plays is supposed to lead a critical audience member to his Marxist beliefs. I can’t say that they work on that level. I do, however, think that dialectical thinking has influenced my poem which is built on the juxtaposition of opposing attitudes to hunger.


hunger burns like pain
in the hollow
of distended bellies

grab a chocolate bar
at the first fuzzy feel
of light-headedness

kill the pig
eat its meat or if all else fails
each other

pile supermarket trolleys
ever higher
with superfluities and booze

hunger burns like pain
in the hollow
of distended bellies

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Eliot and Dr Who

I’m a very sad person. Recently, I was able to satisfy two obsessions at the same time. The rejuvenated Professor Lazarus in Dr Who quoted from Eliot’s ‘The Hollow Men’:

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act

‘Falls the shadow” finished the Doctor.

When Dr Who actor, David Tennant, was on Parkinson he said that he is as likely to be approached by grannies as eight-year-olds. I’ve watched the series from its inception; first with my brother and later with my children both as children and as adults.

Last year, when I was doing an Open University creative writing course we had to write an alliterative love poem modelled on W H Auden’s ‘Age of Anxiety’ which couldn’t be addressed to a human being. Some of the suggestions were domestic: your favourite food, your favourite household appliance or your car’ (I didn’t fancy any of those); others were ‘non-domestic, aspirational or even fantastical: to your favourite local monument, fictional character or planet’. Here’s what I wrote:

Who Are You?

You’d make a princely partner
and I’d be your perfect pal;
a renegade who regenerates;
a traveller through space and time.
From frontiers of the future
you’re propelled into the past;
When this wasting world’s in danger
you’ll be summoned to assist.
You’ve crossed swords withSycorax;
slaughtered the slithy Slitheen;
Defied the deadly Daleks;
baffled the Moxx of Balhoon.
You stopped the siege by Cybermen;
watched fancy flick the Face of Boe;
When Lady Cassandra kissed you
you knew it wasn’t Rose.
Travelling in your Tardis,
you’re the lonely last Lord of Time;
Though you may regenerate younger
I’ll be dead before you’re mine.

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Freedom and a new kitchen

I have finished and dispatched my assignment on T.S.Eliot and my kitchen is now installed and fully functional. I don’t know how I put up with the old one so long. My daughter said that it has only taken me twenty years to get round to having it done! Now I can sit out in the garden, in the sun, and read Orlando which doesn’t feel like work as I’m enjoying it . Yesterday, my portfolio for the Writing Workshop I was doing with Lancaster University, was returned to me. My Tutor has suggested that I read surrealist poets on the basis of the following poem which was part of my submission.

In my attic of childhood playthings

recollection leans on a rainbow
erasing the blown up bridge;
re-building it with brand new stones;
coaxing the river under the bridge
and up the mountainside.

Overhead three dun doves falter
blowing bubbles
below clouds puffing steam.

the bridge is made of chewing gum,
the mountain of camembert cheese,
the stalls made of liquorice sticks
are bulging with vegetables
and someone is howling for a physician.

The three doves fall to the ground;
shuffle away on their prelates’ paunches
with their legs splayed out like skis.

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