Saturday, 3 May 2014

Pomes Penyeach

That's actually the title of James Joyce's one published poetry collection, but it also fairly accurately represents how much I have earned from my poetry.

This little verse is from my book ‘Foreign Correspondence’. ‘Butty’ has several meanings, of which the best-known is a sandwich, or just a slice of bread and butter. It can also mean friend or mate, someone one works with, especially in coal-mining. A Butty Boat is a canal narrow-boat with neither engine nor horse, towed behind another (that does have an engine or horse (duh)). The Bull’s Bridge Layby is one of many such places in the English canal network — the word ‘layby’ long predates its use in the road system — where the canal widens almost to a lake, in which boats could wait their turn to pass through a lock. The Grand Junction was part of the canal network, later absorbed into the Grand Union.

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