A POEM A DAY

We are still celebrating National Poetry Month in the States, and, as I promised my dear friend and an exceptional poet Susan, I’m taking a break from all my writing and current preoccupations in April so as to share some wonderfully provocative verses with you.

Of course, the intention behind action is what matters, and mine/ours is to inspire more people to read poetry more often, if not all the time. The more the better, that is if you want to look after your well-being. You see, I believe that poetry is among the healthiest foods for our heart and brain that can improve blood flow to both if consumed on a regular basis. Believe it or not, reading poems may help lower your blood pressure, keep your blood sugar levels steady and your skin glowing. Hm? Yes, yes, and so much more. It enhances your memory loss and focus, and boosts your immune system. Altogether, poetry is that magic pill which keeps the mind in tip-top shape, nourishes the soul and enables us to attain inner peace. Remember, a poem a day keeps the doctor away.

I would like to contribute to Poetry Month by drawing further attention to some bloggers I love who are equally good at poetry and prose: captivating Lou Rasmus and his Oranges and Metaphors and talented Michael P. Powers at Sketches from Berlin and his poem A Dryness Hollering Out for Death, as well as perceptive Paul at Visions of Paul with his Shame.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like us to go on reading Adrian Mitchell (1932 – 2008), who was first and foremost a ‘responsible poet,’ concerned with social and political issues of the day, which set him apart from his more tight-lipped contemporaries. Today, I give you two challenging poems of his which altered the conscience of English poetry:

 

SONG ABOUT MARY

Mary sat on a long brown bench
Reading Woman’s Own and She.
Then a slimy-haired nit with stripes on his collar
Said:“What’s the baby’s name to be?”

She looked across to Marks and Spencers
Through the dirty window pane,
“I think I’ll call him Jesus Christ,
It’s time he came again.”

The clerk he banged his ledger
And he called the Cruelty Man
Saying:“This bird thinks she’s the mother of Christ,
Do what you bleeding well can.”

They took Mary down to the country
And fed her on country air,
And they put the baby in a Christian home
And he’s much happier there.

For if Jesus came to Britain
He would turn its dizzy head.
They’d nail him up on a telegraph pole
Or he’d raise the poor from the dead.

So if you have a little baby
Make sure it’s a legitimate child,
Bind down his limbs with insurance and a mortgage
And he’ll grow up meek and mild.
Meek and mild.., meek and mild.., meek and mild.


 

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

I was run over by the truth one day.
Ever since the accident I’ve walked this way
So stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Heard the alarm clock screaming with pain,
Couldn’t find myself so I went back to sleep again
So fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Every time I shut my eyes all I see is flames.
Made a marble phone book and I carved out all the names
So coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

I smell something burning, hope it’s just my brains.
They’re only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
So stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Where were you at the time of the crime?
Down by the Cenotaph drinking slime
So chain my tongue with whiskey
Stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

You put your bombers in, you put your conscience out,
You take the human being and you twist it all about
So scrub my skin with women
Chain my tongue with whiskey
Stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

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

43 thoughts on “A POEM A DAY”

  1. You have delivered me into a total love affair with the poetry of Adrian Mitchell. I need more. There is a sharpness to his work that goes to the bone, but it does so with a beautiful deception.

    I love how much you love poetry and I agree it does do all of the amazing things you say! I also love that I can be introduced to new poetry and that it is something we can all share in so gloriously. Today is a good day!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I also adore the two bloggers you highlighted. Lou’s poetry is all on the table, no corners or hidden bits. He puts it all out there, just so, just as it is! Michael’s poetry is gorgeous. It is weighted and also flows. His use of language is amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Isn’t he something?! His narrative is very specific. A critic called him “the British Mayakovsky”. I don’t know how much you guys in the States have the chance to read world literature so I’ll paste the link to his probably most famous poem that I absolutely adore – A Cloud in Trousers. It’s a pretty long one, so when you find some time…Knock yourself out (it’s always a good day for poetry):

      https://russianfuturists.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/vladimir-mayakovsky-a-cloud-in-trousers-english/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for the shout-out, Bojana. Made my day. And you are so right about poetry being a cure-all. Ain’t nutn like it. Had never heard of Mitchell… will check him out. As for Lou, I‘ve been digging his stuff too. His kind of straightforwardness is rare.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for introducing me to Adrian Mitchell, Bojaana! The first poem has such a whimsical rhyme scheme for a pretty dark theme: “Bind down his limbs with insurance and a mortgage”. I really enjoyed these and I’m going to Google some of his others.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You had me at glowing skin 😉 Oh I remember writing poems when a teenager, but it was dark and I recall showing my older sister and she said I should write about happier things because it was depressing 😂 Powerful poetry there! I wish I could tap into writing that well.

    Liked by 1 person

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