‘I respect faith, but doubt gets you an education,’ (playwright and conman Wilson Mizner)
Found this in the latest London Review of Books:
I’m sitting down to start this blog after the very first ‘Poetry Corner’ at Manchester Metropolitan, a Wednesday drop-in session open to anyone who wants to talk, read magazines or share poems. This week – perhaps inevitably – the first topic of discussion was Rebecca Watts’ article in PN Review lambasting the ‘cult of the noble amateur’, a piece which Hollie McNish responded to very eloquently and generously in her recent blog. Our creative writing students come from many different backgrounds and bring a range of experiences to their studies but they were uniformly outraged by what they saw as an attempt to question whether poetry is something that can be accessed in many ways by many people. One student, Heena, contrasted the apparent exclusivity this implies to Asian network radio stations she used to listen to with her gran in the car as a child where poetry…
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I read this at school – it must have been around 1970 – and have never forgotten it. The poem – called Social Studies is by Michael Baldwin:
While my mother ate her heart out,
and my father chewed the chairs,
my sister worked in a factory,
calmly degutting pears.
The green ones like spinach,
The yellow ones like sick,
she gently disemboweled them
with a deft little flick.
She never seemed to worry,
about the family fears,
but thoughts, like bees, were buzzing
inside her golden ears.
She jilted the tin carpenter,
and then the labourer’s mate,
and finally she married,
the man who nails the crate.
She had two lovely children
called Dorothy, and Clem.
They’re hanging her tomorrow,
for calmly degutting them.
Read in my feedly
Sent from my iPad
Sent from my iPad
I came across this poem in the TLS:
and thought at once of thorns and leaves in Andy Goldsworthy’s work: