Monday, 23 December 2013

Poetry Schmoetry

I was writing the other day about how, and why, poetry is sometimes ‘difficult’. Here is an example:


Saxophone Schmaxophone.


Heaven’s ante-chamber: Eliot (Tom)
silently observes recursive time
defragment the past – now Webster (Ben)
plays his tenor sax for Webster (John).


‘Dead cold metal warms with breath’ says Ben
‘Hot flesh hides the icy bone’ says John
‘You two guys need wood’ says Johnny Dodds
Eliot in his corner smugly nods.


Adolphe (conic bore) says ‘Stuff’s a fetish:
wooden sax? It’s still a saxophone;
metal clarinets sound clarinettish:
what you hear is cylinder or cone.’


Let Ellington, more abstract still, construe it:
‘’Tain’t what you do,’ he says, ‘but how you do it.’


If no-one writes in to ask ‘What the hell was that all about?’ I shall assume that either every detail is crystal clear, or that no-one out there gives so much as a nun’s wimple.

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