Poetry in Motion

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by woodenspoons, 9 Feb 2018.

  1. woodenspoons

    woodenspoons Über Member

    North Yorkshire
    Well, that’s what I thought as I passed the reflective surface of an old filling station window today. Look at that fine figure of a man, skimming along like a stone across a pond.....

    And then I woke up on the bench by the village green, realised I’d fallen asleep mid-pie, and had another thirty bloody miles to grind to get home.

    The fantasy and the reality is something we all have to reconcile, daily. Fantasy: I could just choose some tyres for my bike and buy them and put them on the bike and ride it. Reality: I think I better do a lot of research when I have some time, and then maybe ask my mates what they use, and then maybe post a daft question somewhere on the Internet, and then buy some. “Hmmm....? Wonder if I should get a mini pump...”

    I’m coming to my point.

    This morning, I almost caught myself answering Sandra’s dilemma about her job in the parts department with a long reply about a Peter Bruegel painting “Landscape with the fall of Icarus”. I’m glad I didn’t, because I would have sounded pompous and I think Sandra already knows the answer to her dilemma.

    But the painting is very instructive, once you know your Ovid, or at least classical myths and legends, and one or two medieval proverbs.

    “No plough stops for a dying man” - the proverb; essentially man’s inhumanity to man. We look the other way. I’m alright Jack. She’s got her job problems, but I’ve got my worries ( e.g., What’s the best way to tighten a chinstrap on a Giro helmet? No really, anyone?). Your search engine might take you to the painting for a look-see, and if you’ve time on your hands you could read the background bumpf at artinsociety.com.

    And my point is.... [edit, my points are]

    Do any of you make art inspired by cycling, or get creative inspiration from the practice?
    Are any of our number poets? Isn’t it time you rode your rhymes out here?
    Pedalling painters, stand up, unclip your oily cleats and clomp to the front of the class with your creations. ( Fair chance this could become a picture thread. Oh well. )
    However your muse moves you, here’s the thread ready. Bring forth your odes of the road for us all to read. Don’t sit on your art all farty. Poop it up here, prop it up for all to see, silly!
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2018
  2. Rocky

    Rocky Guest

    Larkin’s Whitsun Weddings (he was a racist miserable bigot but I love his poetry) - a very evocative poem about a train journey down the east coast and so much more:

    That Whitsun, I was late getting away:
    Not till about
    One-twenty on the sunlit Saturday
    Did my three-quarters-empty train pull out,
    All windows down, all cushions hot, all sense
    Of being in a hurry gone. We ran
    Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street
    Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence
    The river’s level drifting breadth began,
    Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet.

    All afternoon, through the tall heat that slept
    For miles inland,
    A slow and stopping curve southwards we kept.
    Wide farms went by, short-shadowed cattle, and
    Canals with floatings of industrial froth;
    A hothouse flashed uniquely: hedges dipped
    And rose: and now and then a smell of grass
    Displaced the reek of buttoned carriage-cloth
    Until the next town, new and nondescript,
    Approached with acres of dismantled cars.

    At first, I didn’t notice what a noise
    The weddings made
    Each station that we stopped at: sun destroys
    The interest of what’s happening in the shade,
    And down the long cool platforms whoops and skirls
    I took for porters larking with the mails,
    And went on reading. Once we started, though,
    We passed them, grinning and pomaded, girls
    In parodies of fashion, heels and veils,
    All posed irresolutely, watching us go,

    As if out on the end of an event
    Waving goodbye
    To something that survived it. Struck, I leant
    More promptly out next time, more curiously,
    And saw it all again in different terms:
    The fathers with broad belts under their suits
    And seamy foreheads; mothers loud and fat;
    An uncle shouting smut; and then the perms,
    The nylon gloves and jewellery-substitutes,
    The lemons, mauves, and olive-ochres that

    Marked off the girls unreally from the rest.
    Yes, from cafés
    And banquet-halls up yards, and bunting-dressed
    Coach-party annexes, the wedding-days
    Were coming to an end. All down the line
    Fresh couples climbed aboard: the rest stood round;
    The last confetti and advice were thrown,
    And, as we moved, each face seemed to define
    Just what it saw departing: children frowned
    At something dull; fathers had never known

    Success so huge and wholly farcical;
    The women shared
    The secret like a happy funeral;
    While girls, gripping their handbags tighter, stared
    At a religious wounding. Free at last,
    And loaded with the sum of all they saw,
    We hurried towards London, shuffling gouts of steam.
    Now fields were building-plots, and poplars cast
    Long shadows over major roads, and for
    Some fifty minutes, that in time would seem

    Just long enough to settle hats and say
    I nearly died,
    A dozen marriages got under way.
    They watched the landscape, sitting side by side
    —An Odeon went past, a cooling tower,
    And someone running up to bowl—and none
    Thought of the others they would never meet
    Or how their lives would all contain this hour.
    I thought of London spread out in the sun,
    Its postal districts packed like squares of wheat:

    There we were aimed. And as we raced across
    Bright knots of rail
    Past standing Pullmans, walls of blackened moss
    Came close, and it was nearly done, this frail
    Travelling coincidence; and what it held
    Stood ready to be loosed with all the power
    That being changed can give. We slowed again,
    And as the tightened brakes took hold, there swelled
    A sense of falling, like an arrow-shower
    Sent out of sight, somewhere becoming rain.
  3. OP

    woodenspoons Über Member

    North Yorkshire
    Great job done by a master. Thanks Rocky. Of course we should open up the thread to all poets - and I think I can recall a snap of old Larkin on a sit-up-and-beg - although I’m hoping we can make plenty of room for works from this hotbed of boiling talent. Hmm?
    Rocky likes this.
  4. pawl

    pawl Veteran

    Didn’t David Jason play pop Larkin in the tv series.

    I know befor any body replies PLEB
    Drago and Rocky like this.
  5. Dirk

    Dirk Guru

    Devon's Gold Coast
    I'm always inspired by the great verse of Terence Milligan, whenever I cycle around the headland and past Saunton Sands.

    I must go down to the sea again,
    to the lonely sea and the sky;
    I left my shoes and socks there -
    I wonder if they're dry?
  6. OP

    woodenspoons Über Member

    North Yorkshire
    Walk away from this thread NOW.
    Hands on your head!
    Walk away now!
    Keep going. Keep going.
    That's far enough.
    On the GROUND!
    Right. gimme that poetry book you've got stuffed in your shirt pocket.
    Come on, and the brushes. Come on.
    Katherine likes this.
  7. OP

    woodenspoons Über Member

    North Yorkshire
    A poem about a true story by Paula Green

    One day when I lived in London

    I saw Spike Milligan cycling towards me

    and I was so surprised I started laughing

    and because I started laughing

    he started laughing and because

    he started laughing he nearly

    fell of his bike.
    Fnaar and Katherine like this.
  8. OP

    woodenspoons Über Member

    North Yorkshire
    Sorry Adrian, but this just doesn't cut the mustard. Funny old Oxfordshire bird on a bike isn't doin it for me (although I live with one, and she had the same English teacher as PA)
    "Oh I wish I'd looked after me teef!"
  9. The Crofted Crest

    The Crofted Crest Senior Member

    I was walking
    a sizzling road:
    the sun popped like
    a field of blazing maize,
    was hot,
    an infinite circle
    with an empty
    blue sky overhead.

    A few bicycles
    me by,
    the only
    that dry
    moment of summer,
    barely stirred
    the air.

    Workers and girls
    were riding to their
    their eyes
    to summer,
    their heads to the sky,
    sitting on the
    beetle backs
    of the whirling
    that whirred
    as they rode by
    bridges, rosebushes, brambles
    and midday.

    I thought about evening when
    the boys
    wash up,
    sing, eat, raise
    a cup
    of wine
    in honour
    of love
    and life,
    and waiting
    at the door,
    the bicycle,
    only moving
    does it have a soul,
    and fallen there
    it isn't
    a translucent insect
    through summer
    a cold
    that will return to
    when it's needed,
    when it's light,
    that is,
    of each day.

    Pablo Neruda
    Stephenite, Fnaar and woodenspoons like this.
  10. OP

    woodenspoons Über Member

    North Yorkshire
    Seventeen effing pages about Fray Bastrdin' Bentos pies over there, and not one sniff of a sketch or a watercolour dabble or a little ode in 'ere.
    Here's a sketch of a bird that was annoying me on a walling job.

    Little Shite.

    tyred, Stephenite, Katherine and 4 others like this.
  11. booze and cake

    booze and cake probably out cycling

    OK to try and redress the balance here's a quick ode I just made for you

    cold fingers, numb toes
    squinting eyes and dripping nose
    icy wind and horizontal rain
    I've got to clean the bike again
    dark mornings and long nights
    extra socks and flashing lights
    full fingered gloves you must obtain
    winter riding, what a pain
    a plea for spring I did send
    bloody winter when will it end

    And here's a photo of a bike stand in Portugal, just cos its cool.
    Katherine and TreeHuggery like this.
  12. OP

    woodenspoons Über Member

    North Yorkshire
    Scansion, or a system of scansion, is the method or practice of determining and graphically representing the metrical pattern of a line of verse. In classical poetry, these patterns are based on the different lengths of each syllable, and in English poetry, they are based on the different levels of stress placed on each syllable. In both cases, the meter often has a regular foot. Over the years, many different systems have been established to mark the scansion of a poem.
    Katherine likes this.
  13. Dirk

    Dirk Guru

    Devon's Gold Coast
    tyred and lazyfatgit like this.
  14. OP

    woodenspoons Über Member

    North Yorkshire
    Dirk likes this.
  15. Spinney

    Spinney Bimbleur extraordinaire

    Under the Edge
    Paging @TreeHuggery
    woodenspoons and TreeHuggery like this.
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