Guest poem submitted by Nick Blackburn:
(Poem #927) I'm not saying anything against Alexander
Timur, I hear, took the trouble to conquer the earth. I don't understand him. With a bit of hard liquor you can forget the earth. I'm not saying anything against Alexander, Only I have seen people who were remarkable, Highly deserving of your admiration For the fact that they were alive at all. Great men generate too much sweat. In all of this I see just a proof that They couldn't stand being on their own And smoking and drinking and the like. And they must be too mean-spirited to get Contentment from sitting by a woman.
There is a program on BBC Radio 4, Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. called Something Understood. It seeks to be a rambling multi-faith, multi-(audio) medium session, exploring a given topic. It is rarely engrossing, often annoying, usually has something worth noting and every once in a while has something worth waking up for on a Sunday morning. Last Sunday's was entitled Feet of Clay. It included a sequence of poems, which worked together beautifully, written by Brecht, Kipling and Belloc. I don't think any of the three poems have appeared on WM and though Kipling and Belloc are represented on the site, there is no Brecht. In fact, I cannot find the Brecht anywhere. This presents a few difficulties: 1. I'm not sure it is a poem - maybe it is just lines from a play. No matter, it sounds like a poem. 2. Having failed to find it, I have had to transcribe it (I recorded the repeat on Sunday night). Inventing the line structure for a poem you have only ever heard is an interesting challenge - have a try. 3. Some of the words are wrong. I always have this problem with pop-songs - I can hum the tune but only guess at the words. I'm sure most are right in this case but real egg on face - the first word is almost certainly wrong. It sounded like "Timor" but the only reference I can find to Timor on the net is the island of East Timor. So it goes . On the poem itself, I agree almost completely with the sentiments and love two lines in particular - "Great men generate too much sweat" and the final sentence. Overall it is a fine complement to my favourite Shakespeare sonnet, "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun". They are both saying that ... well see for yourself. Nick.  Brecht is almost certainly referring to the Mongol conqueror Timur ("born 1336, Kesh, near Samarkand, Transoxania [now in Uzbekistan]; died Feb 19, 1405, Otrar, near Chimkent [now Shymkent, Kazakstan]; also spelled Timour, byname Timur Lenk, or Timurlenk (Turkish: "Timur the Lame"), English Tamerlane, or Tamburlaine; Turkic conqueror of Islamic faith, chiefly remembered for the barbarity of his conquests from India and Russia to the Mediterranean Sea and for the cultural achievements of his dynasty." -- EB). t. [Minstrels Links] Poem #506, Lament for Zenocrate -- Christopher Marlowe Poem #44, My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun (Sonnets CXXX) -- William Shakespeare