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A poem - The Ex-Communicator

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October 19th, 2008

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11:28 pm - A poem
This may need more work, but I'm trying to get it finished by the anniversary.

28th October 1998

I thought of Ted Hughes
In the twilight
On the disused railway
Crows dropping without opening their wings
From naked branch to branch
Afflicted by the wind
I was unmoved

His life is made of stronger stuff than mine
And of that iron cloth he makes the world
I know he makes the world in Devon now
Forging with aching arms and working hands
He spits on soil and ploughs it with his thumbs
The clay face struggles but is blind and trapped
And this raw pearly sky and ebbing day
Is blank to me
It moves me not
I know what that makes me
And I made this
This empty day and dull unravelling

We must be torn
Or we must tear ourselves
Dripping from the substrate
Gasping for breath
'Wake Up'
Slap your clay face
'You have been in an accident'
Open your eyes: the accident is all around you
Setting the trees at angles
In a wreckage of leaves and stalks
Old willow-herb and shrivelled blackberries
The disaster of billions of years
And the space between the stars
From which you drag yourself

Now clay face talk and live
This world is your job now
One day the poet's brain will cease and yours go on
Blood filling and refilling it, to make afresh
The only world that is, inside itself
But his world will be over.
Who then will be your master?
Late autumn, be for me the whole dark year
Cold wind blow through us all, for all our lives
For he was one who notices such things

Ten years have passed
Of shocks and accidents and man's disgrace
I remember that day
(The date I checked on wikipedia)
Because I was so cold
And went back to the car, thinking these thoughts
And on the BBC, the reader said
The Poet Laureate Ted Hughes today is dead.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 20th, 2008 08:51 am (UTC)
Oh I like this (if 'like' is the right word). Very, very different to your other pieces. Have you got this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Letters-Ted-Hughes/dp/0571221386?
[User Picture]
Date:October 20th, 2008 09:12 am (UTC)
Thank you.

I haven't - sometimes I feel funny about meeting or finding out about famous people - I only want them to exist in their works. And yet in another way I want to know. I should watch the film with Daniel Craig as Hughes.
Date:October 21st, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know what you mean. Found after reading Ben Britten's letters I didn't feel /quite/ the same. And then I listened to Turn of the Screw again, and got over it. :-)

I'd be happy to dribble...oops...watch Daniel Craig as Hughes with you.
[User Picture]
Date:October 21st, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
Sorry - that was me.
Date:October 21st, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Loved the following:

"Forging with aching arms and working hands
He spits on soil and ploughs it with his thumbs"

"Now clay face talk and live
This world is your job now
One day the poet's brain will cease and yours go on
Blood filling and refilling it, to make afresh
The only world that is, inside itself
But his world will be over."

That worked for me - ill-read man that I am!

[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2008 08:19 am (UTC)
Those are my favourite bits too. I'm reworking it quite a lot at the moment.
Date:October 21st, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC)

I'm in awe of your ability to capture feelings in such a powerful way. Also intimidated by the responses to your postings - as one who at one stage in life chose the social sciences, rather than arts, feel a bit excluded. Suppose every field has its experts and special language, but I feel I simply don't have sufficent knowledge of 'literary language' to make valid comments on your site!

My failing, yet I think (as an outsider dabbling in high culture), this is a problem. I love reading postings site,know I undoubtedly feel the same emotions as others when reading them, but don't want to look a fool by posting "amateur" comments.

How does the interested bystander gain access to this world? :-)

Not a complaint - just an observation from a politics grad who hasn't read much since being immersed in corporate, project focussed world.

Help me!
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2008 08:41 am (UTC)
Nobody on my f-list would think you were a fool for making any sort of comment about what you thought.

But I know what you mean, though. In fact last night I was feeling very gloomy, thinking 'I am making a complete idiot of myself in front of people who have much more of an idea what they are doing.' I did O Level English when I was fifteen, and they didn't want 'people like me' in the A level class, so that was that.

I used to go to jazz festivals and so-on with an older friend, and I would say 'I don't really understand this music' and she would say 'You don't have to understand it, just enjoy it'. But I think that what I really meant was 'I don't enjoy it'. But about the things I do enjoy, I think the question of understanding and correct vocabulary doesn't really arise. Or at least my raw opinion is just as valid as anyone else's, and so is yours of course.
Date:October 23rd, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
Thanks Communicator. I think the one of the worst things to deal with is a lack of confidence. Without god-given/parental induced/private school forced confidence, the world can be a scary place. Lack of confidence in any aspect of life holds people back and allows them to be overriden, sidelined and trampled. I know I'm atating the obvious - give me an answer! :-)

I went to a really crap school, where I had the pleasure of knowing some bloody clever people from crap backgrounds. They're still stuck in the mire in which they were born. I'm talking about a really bad mire (by the way!).

Not all are stuck there, but most are. When I first went Edinbrgh Uni, after my highers at 17, I was shocked by the sheer stupidity of some of my fellow students from some of the finest public schools in the country. That really pissed me off. Still angry about it. Fucking over-preped, pampered arseholes sitting in seats in tutorials, which would have been far more lively and enlightening if some of former my school mates had been there.

Sorry...rambling. Education should focus on giving kids belief in themsleves. Not everyone gets that from home. Culture is seen as alien - how do we sort this out? Enough...I'm annnoyed.

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