Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Risks of Posting Poetry on the Blog

I had thought that putting poems in the blog caused people to stop looking at it, but looking again at the graph I think the day of the week has more influence. More people look at weekends. So I shall take a risk: I do want people to see the occasional (or even the frequent) poem, even if it has to be one of my own. So I will try trading the rise in readership at weekends against the general groan caused by a poem. This one was in the ‘Spectator’ back in 1995 or so when they still cared about such things and even had a poetry editor: the excellent (not least because he sometimes accepted one of mine) P.J. Kavanagh. Later it was in my book ‘Foreign Correspondence’:


Gone Fishing.

Time spent fishing doesn’t count
toward our final sum,
but shifts to the eternal, or
as close as we can come.

I do not mean the age between
the casting and the bite;
rather, beside or out of time:
no ‘Early’, ‘Then’, or ‘Late’.

I came home in the evening, found
the village silent, dead:
roots poking through the ruined streets,
roofs fallen, people fled,

All but one old man, who calls
“You must be the boy
I passed this morning on the path.
Good fishing? Any joy?

“Remember how I wished you luck?
But that was long before
the river dried, the harvest failed;
the earthquake, and the war.”

We gather broken beams, and make
a fire, and cook our fish.
He brings wine from his hut. We sit
and stare into the ash.

Simon Darragh.

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