Archive for March, 2016

Week 178: The Streets of Laredo, by Louis MacNeice

March 25, 2016

David Sutton

Louis MacNeice was in London during the Blitz and this poem captures the spirit of that time in masterly fashion as it shifts between the real and the semi-mythic, the defiant and the despairing, its cast of characters moving to the ballad tune in a brilliantly choreographed danse macabre.

Agag was a bibilical king referred in the book of Samuel as coming ‘delicately’ to his execution.

The Streets of Laredo

O early one morning I walked out like Agag,
Early one morning to walk through the fire
Dodging the pythons that leaked on the pavements
With tinkle of glasses and tangle of wire;

When grimed to the eyebrows I met an old fireman
Who looked at me wryly and thus did he say:
‘The streets of Laredo are closed to all traffic,
We won’t never master this joker to-day.

‘O hold the branch tightly and wield the axe brightly,
The…

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Day 265 – Bus 265 – The Random Bus Timetable Prompt

March 22, 2016

Handprints by Valerie Morton

March 17, 2016

The Poetry Shed

Handprints

Valerie Morton
Indigo Dreams Publishing
ISBN 978-1-910834-02-2
£7.99

The epigraph to “Handprints” is from George Bernard Shaw: “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” I’ve read this poetry collection several times over the last few months, and the quote from Shaw is apt.

Valerie Morton holds a powerful magnifying glass to the individuals in this multi-generational family, showing us aspects of how their lives have been shaped by relationships, circumstances, and events large and small. She doesn’t spare us the difficult bits, but she also shows us (with those same bits) love, hope, courage and meaning – and how family and friend connections are the ties that bind. The last poem is the most joyous “concrete” poem I’ve ever come across.

These poems are skilfully written, full of surprises and astute. Highly recommended. E E Nobbs

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She stood in the…

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