POETRY MATTERS

Our lovely Susan recently reminded us that April is National Poetry Month in the States, inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. This month, I’m joining this unique celebration of poetry in hopes of inspiring more people to read and celebrate it throughout the year.

BTW, Susan’s outstanding poem Letches was shortlisted for IS&T Pick of the Month, so I’ll kindly ask you to read it and show how wonderfully supportive of one another we are by voting here until April 15.

Now, I would like to contribute to Poetry Month by drawing attention to some bloggers/poets I love besides Susan herself and magnificent Wulf she mentioned who are a must for serious poetry fans. If you love poetry or don’t but are open to new experiences, please check out these guys: Wilde Taylor at thereckoning and her poem Marrow, Silent Hour by Basilike Pappa, the poem How Demons Get their Wings, highwaybloggery by David Redpath, The Happiness Report, and Moonlit Pieces by Eli Kyoko and her Panic. Make sure you check out Morality Park too where you can find all four, and so much more.

I generally love poets who make me think and tackle controversial topics and social injustices, also using humor as a powerful weapon against oppressive forces. Ted Hughes described one of my favorite poets Adrian Mitchell (1932 – 2008) as “a voice as welcome as Lear’s fool… Humor that can stick deep and stay funny.” Today, I give you a statesman of literary protest and his thought-provoking:

 

A TOURIST GUIDE TO ENGLAND

Welcome to England!
England is a happy country.

Here is a happy English businessman.
Hating is money, he spends it all
On bibles for Cambodia
And charity to preserve
The Indian Cobra from extinction.

I’m sorry you can’t see our happy coal-miners.
Listen hard and you can hear them
Singing Welsh hymns far underground.
Oh. The singing seems to have stopped.

No, that is not Saint Francis of Assisi.
That is a happy English policeman.
Here is a happy black man.
No, it is not illegal to be black. Not yet.

Here are the slums.
They are preserved as a tourist attraction.
Here is a happy slum-dweller.
Hello, slum-dweller!
No, his answer is impossible to translate.

Here are some happy English schoolchildren.
See John. See Susan. See Mike.
They are studying for their examinations.
Study, children, study!
John will get his O-Levels
And a O-Level job and an O-Level house and a O-Level wife.

Susan will get her A-Levels
And a A-Level job and a A-Level house and a A-Level husband.

Mike will fail.

Here are some happy English soldiers.
They are going to make the Irish happy.
No, please understand.
We understand the Irish
Because we’ve been sending soldiers to Ireland
For hundreds and hundreds of years.

First we tried to educate them
With religion, famine and swords.
But the Irish were slow to learn.
Then we tried to educate them
With reason, poverty and unemployment.

They became silent, sullen, violent.
So now we are trying to educate them
With truncheons, gas, ribber bullets,
Steel bullets, internment and torture.

We are trying to teach the Irish
To be as happy as us.
So please understand us
And if your country
Should be forced to educate
Another country in the same way,
Or your own citizens in the same way –
We will try to understand you.

Author: Blogging_with_Bojana

I'm diggin' Need to grow, have to push Flicking through vinyl and feeding the rush I dig for that one and I open the haunt It's takin' all day from the back to the front I'm diggin' and diggin' You know Sorry baby I'm gone diggin' www.bloggingwithbojana.com

58 thoughts on “POETRY MATTERS”

  1. Whoa. I didn’t get funny. I got a Mr. Rodger’s view of looking at the world while what is happening is “not happy” but so ordinarily hateful we wrap it up in a smile and carry on. It made me super uncomfortable, a pit in my stomach. This is why poetry is so subjective? I really liked this. Will definitely do a few more read-throughs. Incredible. ~Kim

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I know what you mean. It’s funny but then not funny at the same time. A sharp satire, meant to make fun of our ‘accomplishments,’ that is foolishness and failures by using exaggeration and ridicule, which are a powerful means of pointing out world’s injustices.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I haven’t read a poem, especially a contemporary one, in such a long time. That was a fun, disturbing read.

    For my money (admitting that I’ve had very limited exposure to poetry since college), it doesn’t get any better than “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot. This is barely a connection, but it shares a certain depressing element that has been hemmed in by droll, everyday life. “I’ve seen my life measured out in coffee spoons” (or something like that, meaning I shouldn’t use quotation marks).

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh Bojana, you wonderful, Gorgeous Woman! I am feeling particularly emotional today, which you know is saying something. You are my champion and my guru and my friend and I am so grateful for you. Thank you! Your love for poetry is something that goes right to my heart and I love your poetic sensibilities. I am excited to read the poems you have introduced us to. “A Tourist Guide to England is phenomenal. I love poems that have layers like this. It is horrific reality, covered by the sting of sarcasm, covered again by the slicing edge of satire. But, the whole thing is this giant Fuck You, Open your Eyes you Assholes kind of poem, and it is soooo good! Thank you for sharing. And, thank you, as ever, for being such a huge supporter of me and my work. I love you lady!!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bojana, all of those poems are fucking amazing. “Panic” is one of the most perfect things I have read in a long time; her style is something that resonates with me so strongly. Thank you for this – for all of this – for everything!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just discovered it/her today and I already posted but had to go back and include her too in today’s post because it too spoke to me on so many different levels. They are all really something, and, most importantly, write poems which resonate with us. So I guess I’ll see you there too, on their blogs. Hugs, my dear.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. As Wulf would puts it nicely, so well deserved, honey. So well deserved. I promised I’d talk about good poetry this month and I’m only keeping my promise. I’m stopping all my current preoccupations/writings for the month so that we could all enjoy some wonderfully provocative verses.

      Liked by 2 people

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