shall I compare to a petrachan sonnet
the tiny snail from Italy, with shell
like the fossil of a verse in a bell
and fist of words curled up in it’s forest.
lumaca, chiocciola, snail slow bonnet
Italiano mollusco, farewell
you who is homesick but cannot sell
shells on the beach, to float back like a promise.

Little sonnet: are you sung by the snail
in the night on the beach? are your fourteen lines
hung like a prayer by it’s lungs like a wail?
Did Petrarch know it was not his rhyme
but the ring of hermaphrodite, male/female
that was imported first. Would he mind?

Advertisements

Her mother

December 30, 2008

“I’ll give you a poem” she said.
“‘I danced like a fairy
I tip toed like the stars.'”
Then she sat back down
and turned the telly on.

Petrarchan Version

December 30, 2008

I’ve also done this version of the snail song. It’s Petrarchan rather than Shakespearean, but not sure it works as well. Also, erm, might break the odd, teeny little rule…

Song of the snail.

Before the sonnet was the Trojan snail,
brought over by Romans in wooden boats
and they were refugees in travelers cloaks
with soldier helmets and delicate tails.
And they were hermaphrodite, both male
and not and in their shells they carried hope
but they only knew Italian spoke
little of English but a moon bright hail.

And they didn’t like the weather and they
didn’t like the food, and there were badgers
in the hedges, owls and crows. And the way
back home across the sea was far sadder
than a dead dream. For a snail can’t pay
to catch a boat, and a snail can’t swim.

Slow moving thoughts

December 30, 2008

Time for a bit of a blog I think. It’s possibly avoidant of me: I could be reading any number of MA type books, or packing as I’m off to London tomorrow, but on the other hand, I haven’t used this blog to just blog (as in talk, chatter, spout) for ages.

I’m not very well. It’s just a cold but enough to make me feel like Proust laid up for eternity. I’ve been getting out a bit, but it’s been feeling a bad idea, almost without exception.

This afternoon I spent some time with my dad; I’ve been staying at my parents for Christmas. He drove me into town and back to pre-order the ticket I’d need to train it to London. On the way I told him about my idea for a series of snail sonnets.

The snail is my new pet subject. I recently found out that they were brought over to the UK with the Romans, and so are not native and technically Italian. Immediately, I thought how sad this was – like we’ve got this whole diaspora of refugees gliding amongst us, who very probably would rather be elsewhere; afterall, English weather, then there are the predators, language problems, cultural differences. It must have come as quite a nasty shock when they woke up in Blighty.

So I thought I’d write some poems for the poor little buggers. I was just going to write them any old how, but then it occurred to me that if a snail were to be compared to a poem – it would have to be to a sonnet – because like them, sonnets were imported from Italy. So, this is my essay to make you like the below poem more. …obviously, if a poem needs such a lengthy introduction, it might not be such a good sign…but hey, there it is.

A bit later on this evening, after we’d got home and my dad had watched his documentary about Voodoo, I said ‘dad, do y’know that snail poem I was telling you about?’ and he said yes and I said ‘d’you mind if I read it do you?’ and he said go head.

I read it and afterwards my father seemed to think for a moment before saying:

‘I’ve got no problems with that’.

Both I and my father are very strange people.

If anyone should be so inclined, please let me know your thoughts too.

Obviously, feel free to elaborate slightly more, should any more occur…

Song of the Snail

December 30, 2008

And when they came they came with Romans
in boats and crates, like sonnets curled,
but their shells were heavier than omens
and the ships set down, with sighs unfurled.

And when they came they wanted to like it
but they didn’t like the weather or the food,
they couldn’t speak the language or make fit
what they had needed – and the hostile mood.

Now each snail is a shell full of longing,
and each garden a symbol of betrayal
and each sea is a chasm of aching
for a snail that would drown if it tried to sail.

And this is their sorrow, what all snails learn
they’ve their home’s on their back, but can’t return.

Gok (second draft)

December 28, 2008

One day,
I worry I’ll end up on one of those
reality TV programmes –
Gok Wan,
prodding at my bare bum,
like a piece of livestock.

One moment
I’ll be sitting on the loo
with some cut price booze,
the next I’ll be seeing an advert
participants wanted –
to take off all their clothes.

One day I worry
I’m really going to do it –
bare all to the Highcross,
moon on a building.
I won’t know what I’m doing.
I’ll tell myself it’s research
I’m an undercover feminist,
when really it’s the hell of it
I’ll do it for.

My mother will complain to the BBC,
she’ll tell them I was ill,
and probably smoking weed,
and I’ll wake up the next day
in my tiny little flat
and not know what I’ve done,
’cause I’ve done it in a trance.

But one day I really worry
that I’ll do it without thinking,
and it’ll be a kind of killing
a masochism willing
to destroy the world I live in,
just because. And then
it’ll be too late.

Protected: In prog

December 24, 2008

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Gok

December 18, 2008

One day – I worry I’ll
end up on one of those
reality TV programmes – Gok Wan,
prodding at my bare bum,
like a piece of livestock.

It’ll be like a packet of salmon.
I won’t see it happen. One moment I’ll be
sitting on the loo with some cut price booze,
the next I’ll be seeing an advert
in the cubicle: participants wanted –
to take off all their clothes.

One day I worry
I’m really going to do it –
bare all to the Highcross,
moon on a building.
I won’t know what I’m doing.
I’ll tell myself it’s research
I’m an undercover feminist,
when really it’s the hell of it
I’ll do it for.

My mother will complain to the BBC,
she’ll tell them I was ill,
and probably smoking weed,
and I’ll wake up the next day
in my tiny little flat
and not know what I’ve done,
’cause I’ve done it in a trance.

But one day I worry
that I’ll do it without thinking,
it’ll be a kind of killing
a masochism willing
to destroy the world I live in,
just because –

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Protected: Sonnet

December 11, 2008

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: