Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

Poetry for Supper -- R S Thomas

Taking my cue from Martin...
(Poem #187) Poetry for Supper
'Listen, now, verse should be as natural
As the small tuber that feeds on muck
And grows slowly from obtuse soil
To the white flower of immortal beauty.'

'Natural, hell! What was it Chaucer
Said once about the long toil
That goes like blood to the poem's making?
Leave it to nature and the verse sprawls,
Limp as bindweed, if it break at all
Life's iron crust. Man, you must sweat
And rhyme your guts taut, if you'd build
Your verse a ladder.'

        'You speak as though
No sunlight ever surprised the mind
Groping on its cloudy path.'

'Sunlight's a thing that needs a window
Before it enters a dark room.
Windows don't happen.'

        So two old poets,
Hunched at their beer in the low haze
Of an inn parlour, while the talk ran
Noisily by them, glib with prose.
-- R S Thomas
Another slightly more explicit take on the divide between 'natural' and
'constructed' poems [1].

"This is the nearest Thomas comes to a comic poem. He has an ear for Welsh
dialogue, which he seems to use relatively rarely. Despite the imagery, one gets
a real sense of the two old poets' voices in the poem as they talk over the
nature of their art in a country pub. Thomas, one may suppose, is ultimately on
the side of the second poet who believes that inspiration needs the vehicle of
craftsmanship before it can fully come through."

    -- George MacBeth

I tend to agree with Thomas' point of view - I've always felt that much of what
is passed off as 'natural' these days is just laziness or shoddy workmanship.
That said, I would be the first to admit that there are contexts in which free
verse is far more apt than verse constrained by metre and rhyme; conversely,
there are contexts which cry out for the use of specific forms of prosody. The
true skill lies in knowing when to use which.

thomas.

PS. I should add (before anyone points out my obtuseness) (Hi Martin!) that the
last line suddenly puts the whole poem into a new perspective - that poets, by
concentrating on the how and what of writing poetry, often ignore the why [2].

[1] See yesterday's poem, 'By-the-way', poem #186
for the source of my inspiration.
[2] Isn't it amazing how so many poems stand and fall on the strength of their
last lines? Browse through the Minstrels archives for more examples -
http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/

22 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

vigrx plus said...

penis enlargement, penis enlargement pills, male enhancement, male enhancement pills

Penis enlargement pills have been proven is the best way to make the penis bigger and effective to increase men’s sexual performance.vimax pills, vigrx plus, prosolution pills, maleextra

Anonymous said...

Jendela UPVC | Promo Diskon | Harga Tiket Pesawat | Social Bookmarking | Tiket Pesawat Murah | Tiket Pesawat Online

Kim Kardashian Bugil | wallpaper lucu | Ultrabook Notebook Tipis Harga Murah Terbaik | Info Terkini | Harga Notebook | Jasa Seo | Jasa Seo | apa seo | JASA SEO | Layanan Seo | Konsultan Seo | All about Behel atau Kawat Gigi manfaat,perawatan dan larangannya lengkap

I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks.

Floor Decals said...

Greetings! I would just like to express my gratitude for the cool information contained in this post. I will be visiting your site for more awesome Floor Decals

Lush Five said...

That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.Lush Five

Chicago Limousine Services said...

Penis enlargement pills have been proven is the best way to make the penis bigger and effective to increase men’s sexual performance.

Car dealer Tampa said...

Assortment is often a sincere and also secret London companion agency gives authentic London escorts young ladies with regard to guys involving taste.for more info see Car dealer Tampa

marion faldas said...

I don't even remember what a positive attitude feels like. I've tried to read Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power of Positive Thinking" twice, but I couldn't relate to much of it at all. My bipolar tends to strangle the positive out of every aspect of my life. The demons destroy me. marion faldas

Bigcommerce Offer App said...

This can be a great sound judgment post. Worthwhile one who is merely seeking the means relating to this element. It's going to undoubtedly help teach me personally. Bigcommerce Offer App

Anthony Ammerman said...

This can be a great sound judgment post. Worthwhile one who is merely seeking the means relating to this element. It's going to undoubtedly help teach me personally. Anthony Ammerman

zanzibar hotels said...

This is a really cool blog. I am a frequent visitor of this site. Read the news on the earthquake. It was really sad news. Keep posting more such information’s. All the very best to you and your team. Good luck.zanzibar hotels

mykonos villa said...

Such a very informatics post, as I have browsed the majority of your posts. But I found this post is almost certainly where I got the most useful information for my research. It is really very interesting to read this particular post. I just would like to say thanks for your great efforts.mykonos villa

sell structured settlement said...

Today I informed you about a sell structured settlement website. It is most authentic and informative site. You should be visit on it.
Thanks

Spread Betting Forum said...

I notice that all of them state that you need to change the JVM values, but it seems to be quite random as to what values are actually put in there. Is there any formula to use in relation to the types of devices and configuration values.

Yacon Root said...

Thanks for such an interesting article here. I was searching for something like that for quite a long time and at last I have found it here.Yacon Root

Buy Wholesale Bed Linen Online said...

This is a decent post. This post provides actually quality data. I’m undoubtedly planning to investigate it. extremely terribly helpful tips area unit provided here. YourBuy Wholesale Bed Linen Online

Safari Holidays said...

Nice poem, I shall read it each night on safari.

steve7876 said...

But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.how to make apple passbook

Hotel Towels in Bulk said...

For instance in the seven wastes, Overproduction is often considered one of the worst wastes because it creates most of the others. Hotel Towels in Bulk

electronic cigarettes said...

financial plan will give you a blueprint directing you towards achieving your goals, what products you should be investing in, for what time period you should invest for, whilst considering your constraints such as your attitude towards risk.electronic cigarettes

Post a Comment