Communicator (communicator) wrote,

UA Fanthorpe

Sorry to hear the poet UA Fanthorpe died a couple of days ago. She is an inspiration to me, as she didn't start writing poetry until she was slightly older than I am now. She's not exactly my kind of poet, but I wish she had been the first female Poet Laureate.

She's dry and funny.

Here's a link to poem called 'Not My Best Side' which is in three parts, told respectively by the Dragon, the Princess and St George.
It's hard for a girl to be sure if
She wants to be rescued. I mean, I quite
Took to the dragon. It's nice to be
Liked, if you know what I mean. He was
So nicely physical, with his claws
And lovely green skin, and that sexy tail,
And the way he looked at me,
He made me feel he was all ready to
Eat me. And any girl enjoys that.
So when this boy turned up, wearing machinery,
On a really dangerous horse, to be honest
I didn't much fancy him. I mean,
What was he like underneath the hardware?

Here's another about love.


There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it

Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.

I never know whether it is appropriate or not to be like 'she was gay'. It seems a bit daft to pick out one thing about a person, but at the same time I think poems like this celebrate loving relationships between women.

ETA - metafilter thread discussing Fanthorpe and Duffy, with links to some more poems, including two of my favourite from Duffy.

  • Phew what a scorcher

    I see Gove has backed down on climate change and it's back in the curriculum again.

  • GCSE Computer Science

    My book is now for sale

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    At the moment I have set up this journal so that only friends can comment. I hate doing this, but I was just getting too much Russian spam.

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