Thursday, November 16, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Lying

This week's prompt at Poetry Thursday was to write down ten objects and tell a lie about each one. Whether this resulted in poetry, or merely a writing exercise, I'm not sure, but I had a lot of fun doing it. Here are the results:

A telesope is to shrink things
so that they will fit in the television set.
A piano has black and white teeth
and it eats songs.
Everything I write with this pencil is true.
The rose tells the news of the day
but I can't read it.
The sky knows how but it won't tell me.
Under the hill dead sailors dance hornpipes.
The pylons are the masts of their wrecked ships.
The barbed wire fences catch poems from the sky.
The ladder is for birds with broken wings.
The egg contains oceans. If you break it
we will all drown.

And here is a bonus question:
I have been thinking about poetry of place, and specifically England and Scotland. I'm looking for poems set in the places I want to visit. I'm having a hard time coming up with any. There is Robert Burns of course, for Scotland - quite a few places mentioned in his poems. And A.E. Housman's "A Shropshire Lad". Then from Wordsworth I have his sonnet composed on Westminster Bridge, and another poem set near Tintern Abbey (which I have yet to look for on a map). Gerard Manley Hopkins has "Inversnaid" and there is Rupert Brooke's "Old Vicarage, Grantchester". (Where is Grantchester? I thought this was the old vicarage at Grantham - where some of my husband's forbears come from - until I checked on google and found that it was Grantchester after all).

This seems like a rather short list from hundreds of years of British poetry, and I would be grateful for any suggestions to add to it. I prefer modern or modernish poetry, but will take all suggestions. Thanks!


Julie said...

Well done on your PT challenge. Without help I'd have been hopelessly lost.

GTS said...

Wow, great poem. There is one line that really moved me, and I think you should explore the depth of that line.

"The rose tells the news of the day but I can't read it."

Wow. Just Wow.

Anonymous said...

Nice. I love this exercise because it allows us to create new worlds where nothing can be predicted or even expected. Like this:

The egg contains oceans. If you break it
we will all drown.

I mean, how gorgeous and strange is that?


(Your comments keep making my identity "anonymous" instead of "other")

Anonymous said...

I think you got beautiful results here! I agree with Dana about the egg and it drowning us when it breaks. Really, really nice!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm reading beforehand, to get some inspiration. This is great. Love the last line, very interesting.

Heather said...

I agree with the all the praise for those last lines, and also like the piano eating. Well done!

madd said...

nice .. really liked the barbed wire catches poems from the sky..m

Jim Brock said...

Tremendous: the egg, the ladder, the last lines.

Poems with British Landscapes (okay, some are Irish here)? "Fern Hill" by Dylan Thomas. "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by W. B. Yeats. "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold.

Deb R said...

Oooh, I like it, Catherine - the piano, the pencil, the rose, the ocean-filled egg...mysterious and wonderful.

I'm no help at all about the poets, sorry.

Doe said...

lovely and brilliant!!!!
I especially liked the piano’s teeth and the rose’s line :)

ren powell said...,,1285826,00.html

I love Alice Oswald's poem DART- (is book-length, but worth it!)

Paul Farley is one of my favorites- also contemporary- writes about Northern England, in part.

A good contemporary Scottish poet who was the poet laureate of Edinburg is Stewart Conn.

. . . and now I'll never look at a ladder without heartache. Poor birds.

January said...

Nice job on the prompt, Catherine! Love all of these quiet lines and the egg at the end. Brilliant!

Crafty Green Poet said...

HI Catherine, I like this poem a lot especially the lines about the piano.

As for the poetry recommendations, I would also recommend Stewart Conn, though he is no longer poet laureate of Edinburgh. Our poet laureate (or Makar) is now Valerie Gillies, who is also worth checking out and in fact has some poems carved on fences by a river somewhere in Scotland. Plus: John Burnside (though his take on nature and the landscape is a little too dark for some people's tastes) Kenneth Steven (based in Perthshire in Scotland) and Gilliam Clarke (a Welsh poet). There's also Kathleen Jaimie. Probably plenty of others too but that's all I can think of just now.

twilightspider said...

Catherine, I think you were right in your comment on my blog about other people's imaginations - and yours is so fantastic! I love the line about your pencil, because it feels like an interjection in the middle of all your "lies" and I really want to believe it. You weren't lying to me, were you?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely Wonderful!

Unknown said...

This is great! Loving the last lines...

jillypoet said...

This starts out slow and revs up to be a fast poem with whirling imagination! Not fast, exactly, but the images come at you so clearly, like photos askew. I can't decide which I like best.

paris parfait said...

Love your web of lies! Well done. As for Brit poets, there's R.W. Thomas. But I'll have to think about some more, as I'm late to discovering Brit poets (never read them in school, other than the major ones).

Susannah Conway said...

Catherine, your poem is delightful - seeing what you've done with the prompt inpires me to give it a go... Hmmm.... you've raised the bar so high!

michelle said...

I love this line:

Everything I write with this pencil is true.

I feel like I can see the smirk behind this.

Anonymous said...

I really like this!!!
Hi from Michele....and I especially liked the barbed wire fence catches poems from the sky.

Dak-Ind said...

there is almost nothing i can add except my own commendations on how brilliant this is. i understand that each thing is supposed to be a lie, but there is a truth to it as well... take the rose, my mother can read her whole gardens health day by day in her roses. but the bit i liked the most is the masts of the sailing ships... made me think of Johnny Cash's song "hiwayman".

thank you for sharing. glad that michele sent me

Anonymous said...

I've been reading through your old posts after finding you via poetry thursday and i have to tell you that I love this poem. i love what you did with the prompt.