Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Dec 08, 2019 7:00 am





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 172 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1 ... 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
The Rattle Bag: The A Poems 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
One more post ought to do it.

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3257
Location: Cheshire, England
Thanks: 329
Thanked: 675 times in 521 posts
Gender: Female
Country: United Kingdom (uk)

Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The A Poems
Saffron, I would say you are a 'truant' but not a delinquent. :D


_________________
Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini


Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:15 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Pop up Book Fanatic


Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 10
Thanks: 6
Thanked: 5 times in 4 posts
Gender: Female
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The A Poems
Quote:
And Poem Number 2 - After his Death - Norman MacCaig

It turned out
that the bombs he had thrown
raised buildings:

that the acid he had sprayed
had painfully opened
the eyes of the blind.

Fishermen hauled
prizewinning fish
from the water he had polluted.

We sat with astonishment
enjoying the shade
of the vicious words he had planted.

The government decreed that
on the anniversary of his birth
the people should observe
two minutes pandemonium.


I know you're on to the B's, but wandering in at this point I may make just a few tardy comments, which don't require any response to divert you from your current progress.

I am compelled to say that I really enjoyed being ambushed by Norman MacCaig, in this poem.

Like a mouse sniffing the cheese, our interest is piqued by the unexpected turn of events. Yes, we too are astonished--and so relieved--that these horrible behaviors could turn out so well! But just for an instant. Only for an instant. A crucial instant that allows cruel reason to slap us in the face, to snap back and assure us that this is nonsense.

MacCaig could have written a straight-forward poem about the doleful effects of bombs, chemical warfare, and hatefulness, and we would have all nodded...and yawned. Instead he performed a fresh little satirical blitz. Irony is always achieved between writers and readers together, so that MacCaig forces the understanding reader to provide the poet's true argument, seemingly as the reader’s own. A rough and intrusive bit of pacifism.

Presenting the matter as a post-mortem reflection draws the reader's attention to the impact on future humanity, the legacy of the warmonger's actions. Legacy is often a remaining concern for those who have attained great wealth and power. MacCaig seems to hope to move them by recourse to this last vulnerability of self-interest.

While the final verse is certainly clever, and funny to imagine, I wonder if we wouldn't be better served in observing the anniversaries of destructive leaders with some sort of cathartic pandemonium (akin to the noise-making of old used to oust demons), than by solemn reverence to whitewashed pseudo-heroes. Some public lament, with a physical and vocal expression of the anger we should have toward forces of repression, exploitation, and destruction. An anger now often tucked away behind our sophisticated cynicism, our philosophic resignation. It might break the catatonic civility we are so trained in, and allow us to be both more alert to destructive forces, and quicker to action when they rear their heads. Fat chance, eh?

Ah, irony, the defense against which is a shield no man can lift. Once you see it, I suppose, it’s no more genius than the average sneering teenager--but the first time MacCaig twirls you around and spanks you, it's fun.


_________________
DireCari

Then she said, "Choose thee, gentle Gawaine,
Truth as I doe say,
Wether thou wilt have me in this liknesse
In the night or else in the day."
--The Marriage Of Sir Gawain


The following user would like to thank DireCari for this post:
froglipz, Penelope
Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:10 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Better Thread Count than Your Best Linens

Gold Contributor

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 642
Thanks: 217
Thanked: 109 times in 89 posts
Gender: Female
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The A Poems
Welcome DireCari, jump in wherever you like :)

Your comment about After His Death made me go back and look at that poem.
Quote:
A rough and intrusive bit of pacifism.
I only lived with the pacific kind of pacifist, so this was a splash of refreshing water.


_________________
~froglipz~

"I'm not insane, my mother had me tested"

Si vis pacem, para bellum: If you wish for peace, prepare for war.


Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:28 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
One more post ought to do it.

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3257
Location: Cheshire, England
Thanks: 329
Thanked: 675 times in 521 posts
Gender: Female
Country: United Kingdom (uk)

Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The A Poems
Quote:
DireCari wrote:

It might break the catatonic civility we are so trained in, and allow us to be both more alert to destructive forces, and quicker to action when they rear their heads. Fat chance, eh?


Well, fat chance when we are so mislead by the media who have their own axes to grind. I would refer you to the book by Noam
Chomsky - 'Manufacturing Consent'. It makes us cautious in reaching a conclusion when judging world events.

Quote:
All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.
Noam Chomsky




I very much enjoyed reading your comments, thank you.


_________________
Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini


Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:11 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Almost Awesome

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 900
Thanks: 123
Thanked: 204 times in 162 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The A Poems
Dire Cari:

Thanks for your insightful review of After His Death, I think this is one of the best poems we have covered to date from the Rattle Bag. I like the use of 'we' in the 4th stanza, it really twists around the role of poet, reader and subject. And further to your intro, I also like brussel sprouts, especially cooked with turmeric.



Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:04 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Pop up Book Fanatic


Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 10
Thanks: 6
Thanked: 5 times in 4 posts
Gender: Female
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The A Poems
Turmeric rocks, giselle. :)

I wandered over to the nonfiction section earlier, which prompted me to open my copy of The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Just scanning it randomly I came across the tale of how the sorceress, Ceridwen, transformed the boy, Gwion Bach, into the legendary Welsh poet, Taliesin.

Though there are some differences, I'm betting "The Allansford Pursuit" is a version of this tale. I read it as a call and response with the two characters and a chorus.
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/t/taliesin.html

For ease of comparison:
Quote:
The Allansford Pursuit

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back.

O, I shall go into a hare
With sorrow and sighing and mickle care,
And I shall go in the Devil's name
Aye, till I be fetched hame.
--Hare, take heed of a bitch greyhound
Will harry thee all these fells around,
For here come I in Our Lady's name
All but for to fetch thee hame.

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back.

Yet, I shall go into a trout
With sorrow and sighing and mickle doubt,
And show thee many a crooked game
Ere that I be fetched hame,
---Trout, take heed of an otter lank
Will harry thee close from bank to bank,
For here come I in Our Lady's name
All but for to fetch thee hame.

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back.

Yet I shall go into a bee
With muckle horror and dread of thee
And flit to hive in the Devil's name
Ere that I be fetched hame.
---Bee, take heed of a swallow hen
Will harry thee close, both butt and ben,
For here come I in Our Lady's Name
All but for to fetch thee hame.

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back.

Yet I shall go into a mouse
And haste me unto the miller's house,
There in his corn to have good game
Ere that I be fetched hame.
---Mouse, take heed of a white tib-cat
That never was baulked of mouse or rat,
For I'll crack thy bones in our Lady's name:
Thus shalt thou be fetched hame.

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back.

ROBERT GRAVES

A restoration of the fragmentary seventeenth-century text, sung by north-country witches at their sabbaths.


I appreciate the information about Isabel Gowdie, Penny. :)


_________________
DireCari

Then she said, "Choose thee, gentle Gawaine,
Truth as I doe say,
Wether thou wilt have me in this liknesse
In the night or else in the day."
--The Marriage Of Sir Gawain


Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:45 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
One more post ought to do it.

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3257
Location: Cheshire, England
Thanks: 329
Thanked: 675 times in 521 posts
Gender: Female
Country: United Kingdom (uk)

Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The A Poems
Well, the note at the bottom of the poem, did say North country witches, which suggests to me, Scottish Borders, Northumberland area. The legend you cite is Welsh.....very Welsh....with those names.

I think the druids and witches lived in Wales during the Roman occupation of the British Isles, and there seems to be a lot of evidence for that. But the Welsh people had a great Christian Revival with John Wesley....and I think perhaps a lot of the pagan ways of thinking and evidence of their ways of being was stamped out. Which is a pity, although it has to be said that the revival brought great benefit to the Welsh, that is comparing before and after writings.


_________________
Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini


Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:00 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 172 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1 ... 8, 9, 10, 11, 12



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank