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The Rattle Bag: The B poems 
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One more post ought to do it.

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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: An Anthology of Poetry
37. Baby Song - Thom Gunn
38. The Badger - John Clare
39. Bagpipe Music - Louis MacNeice
40. Bags of Meat - Thomas Hardy
41. The Ballad of Robin Reed - Gwendolyn Brooks
42. Ballad of the Bread Man - Charles Causley
43. Be Merry - anon
44. Beeny Cliff - Thomas Hardy
45. Before I knocked and flesh let enter - Dylan Thomas
46. Behaviour of Fish in an Egyptian Tea garden - Keith Douglas
47. La Belle Dame Sans Merci - John Keats
48. Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter - John Crowe Ransom
49. Be not afeard: the isle is full of noises - William Shakespeare
50. Bermudas - Andrew Marvell
51. Bethsabe's Song - George Peele
52. Bifocal - William Stafford
53. The Bight - Elizabeth Bishop
54. Binsey Poplars - Gerard Manley Hopkins
55. Birches - Robert Frost
56. Birth of the Foal - Ferenc Juhasz
57. The Black Cloud - W H Davies
58. Black Rock of Kiltearn - Andrew Young
59. The Blacksmiths - Anon
60. Blue Girls - John Crowe Ransom
61. Boat Stealing - William Wordsworth
62. Bog-Face - Stevie Smith
63. Break, break, break - Alfred Lord Tennyson
64. Breathing Space July - Thomas Transtromer
65. Brian O'Linn - anon
66. Buffalo Bill's - e e cummings
67. The Buffalo Skinners - Anon
68. Bullfight - Miroslav Holub
69. The Burglar of Babylon - Elizabeth Bishop
70. The Burning Babe - Robert Southwell

OK - next post the C's (I'm watching the wedding whilst typing - so please make allowances.)


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Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:22 am
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
'Baby Song'

From the private ease of Mother's womb
I fall into the lighted room.

Why don't they simply put me back
Where it is warm and wet and black?

But one thing follows on another.
Things were different inside Mother.

Padded and jolly I would ride
The perfect comfort of her inside.

They tuck me in a rustling bed
--I lie there, raging, small, and red.

I may sleep soon, I may forget,
But I won't forget that I regret.

A rain of blood poured round her womb,
But all time roars outside this room.

Thom Gunn

It reminds me of the MacNeice poem we just read in the 'A's.


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Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:52 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
The Badger

The badger grunting on his woodland track
With shaggy hide and sharp nose scrowed with black
Roots in the bushes and the woods and makes
A great hugh burrow in the ferns and brakes
With nose on ground he runs a awkward pace
And anything will beat him in the race
The shepherds dog will run him to his den
Followed and and hooted by the dogs and men
The woodman when the hunting comes about
Go round at night to stop the foxes out
And hurrying through the bushes ferns and brakes
Nor sees the many holes the badger makes
And often through the bushes to the chin
Breaks the old holes and tumbles headlong in

When midnight comes a host of dogs and men
Go out and track the badger to his den
And put a sack within the hole and lye
Till the old grunting badger passes bye
He comes and hears they let the strongest loose
The old fox hears the noise and drops the goose
The poacher shoots and hurrys from the cry
And the old hare half wounded buzzes bye
They get a forked stick and bore him down
And clapt the dogs and bore him to the town
And bait him all the day with many dogs
And laugh and shout and fright the scampering hogs
He runs along and bites at all he meets
They shout and hollo down the noisey streets

He turns about to face the loud uproar
And drives the rebels to their very doors
The frequent stones is hurled where ere they go
When badgers fight and everyones a foe
The dogs are clapt and urged to join the fray
The badger turns and drives them all away
Though scarcly half as big dimute and small
He fights with dogs for hours and beats them all
The heavy mastiff savage in the fray
Lies down and licks his feet and turns away
The bull dog knows his match and waxes cold
The badger grins and never leaves his hold
He drives the crowd and follows at their heels
And bites them through the drunkard swears and reels

The frighted women takes the boys away
The blackguard laughs and hurrys on the fray
He tries to reach the woods a awkward race
But sticks and cudgels quickly stop the chace
He turns agen and drives the noisey crowd
And beats the many dogs in noises loud
He drives away and beats them every one
And then they loose them all and set them on
He falls as dead and kicked by boys and men
Then starts and grins and drives the crowd agen
Till kicked and torn and beaten out he lies
And leaves his hold and cackles groans and dies

Some keep a baited badger tame as hog
And tame him till he follows like the dog
They urge him on like dogs and show fair play
He beats and scarcely wounded goes away
Lapt up as if asleep he scorns to fly
And seizes any dog that ventures nigh
Clapt like a dog he never bites the men
But worrys dogs and hurrys to his den
They let him out and turn a harrow down
And there he fights the host of all the town
He licks the patting hand and trys to play
And never trys to bite or run away
And runs away from noise in hollow trees
Burnt by the boys to get a swarm of bees
John Clare

It was interesting finding this version to post, most of the ones I found omitted the whole first stanza... This one was called The Badger Eurasian and I'm not sure if that is the version or something else. I have heard of bear baiting, but this refers to badger baiting.


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Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:27 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
I can't say that I'm impressed with either of these two B poems. 'Baby Song' seemed too shallow. It just didn't quite get there.

'The Badger' was long and pretty dull. Seemed like an excerise in rhyming and not very well done. Maybe it is just my mood today.



Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:36 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
Bagpipe Music

It's no go the merrygoround, it's no go the rickshaw,
All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.
Their knickers are made of crêpe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python,
Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison.

John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa,
Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker,
Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whiskey,
Kept its bones for dumb-bells to use when he was fifty.

It's no go the Yogi-Man, it's no go Blavatsky,
All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi.

Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather,
Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna.
It's no go your maidenheads, it's no go your culture,
All we want is a Dunlop tyre and the devil mend the puncture.

The Laird o' Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober,
Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over.
Mrs Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion,
Said to the midwife 'Take it away; I'm through with overproduction'.

It's no go the gossip column, it's no go the Ceilidh,
All we want is a mother's help and a sugar-stick for the baby.

Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn't count the damage,
Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage.
His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish,
Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish.

It's no go the Herring Board, it's no go the Bible,
All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle.

It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium,
It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums,
It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections,
Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.

It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet;
Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever,
But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.
Louis MacNeice

Here is a link of the poem read aloud. I don't know about this one, I think it mostly goes over my head...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRDS-L_rRvg


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Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:01 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
Quote:
I don't know about this one, I think it mostly goes over my head...


I feel the same way, though I keep reading it feeling like I should understand more. I look it up and see if I can be enlightened.



Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:56 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
Of the B poems so far, I do like the MacNeice the best. It's loud, raucous, just like bagpipe music. The lower classes have their day in this one.



Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:52 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
This next one doesn't seem to be anywhere I can find it on the internet, so here goes, hopefully without any typos...

Bags of Meat

'Here's a fine bag of meat,'
Says the master-auctioneer,
As the timid, quivering steer,
Starting a couple of feet
At the prod of a drover's stick,
And trotting lightly and quick,
A ticket stuck on his rump,
Enters with a bewildered jump.

"Where he's lived lately friends,
I'd live till lifetime ends:
They've a whole life everyday
Down there in the Vale have they!
He'd be worth the money to kill
And give away Christmas for goodwill."

'Now here's a heifer--worth more
Than bid were she bone-poor;
Yet she's round as a barrel of beer';
"She's a plum,"said the second auctioneer,
'Now this young bull--for thirty pound?
Worth that to manure your ground!'
'Or to stand' chimed the second one,
"And have his picter done!'

The beast was rapped on the horns and snout
To make him turn about.
'Well cried a buyer,'another crown--
Since I've dragged here from Taunton Town!'

'That calf she sucked three cows,
Which is not matched for bouse
In the nurseries of high life
By the first-born of a nobleman's wife!'
The stick falls, meaning 'A true tales told,'
On the buttock of the creature sold,
And the buyer leans over and snips
his mark on one of the animals hips.

Each beast when driven in,
Looks round at the ring of bidders there
With a much-amazed reproachful stare,
As at unnatural kin,
For bringing him to a sinister scene
So strange, unhomelike, hungry, mean;
His fate the while suspended between
A butcher to kill out of hand,
And a farmer to keep on the land;
One can fancy a tear runs down his face
When the butcher wins, and he's driven from the place
Thomas Hardy

mmmmm prime rib, steaks, ribs, yummy!


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


Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:58 am
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
Is anyone a Tony Hoagland fan? I saw him read last night and really enjoyed myself. I haven't read much contemporary poetry and he certainly is edgy.



Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:40 am
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
Bags of Meat

I think Bagpipes is still the best one so far of the B's, but I did get a good picture of a sad-eyed, bewildered cow that almost made me not enjoy my barbecued steak dinner last night. Almost.

I'm off on vacation for a bit, so I'll catch up on the B's when I return.



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Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:06 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
The Ballad of Rudolph Reed

Rudolph Reed was oaken.
His wife was oaken too.
And his two good girls and his good little man
Oakened as they grew.

"I am not hungry for berries.
I am not hungry for bread.
But hungry hungry for a house
Where at night a man in bed

"May never hear the plaster
Stir as if in pain.
May never hear the roaches
Falling like fat rain.

"Where never wife and children need
Go blinking through the gloom.
Where every room of many rooms
Will be full of room.

"Oh my home may have its east or west
Or north or south behind it.
All I know is I shall know it,
And fight for it when I find it."

The agent's steep and steady stare
Corroded to a grin.
Why you black old, tough old hell of a man,
Move your family in!

Nary a grin grinned Rudolph Reed,
Nary a curse cursed he,
But moved in his House. With his dark little wife,
And his dark little children three.

A neighbor would look, with a yawning eye
That squeezed into a slit.
But the Rudolph Reeds and children three
Were too joyous to notice it.

For were they not firm in a home of their own
With windows everywhere
And a beautiful banistered stair
And a front yard for flowers and a back for grass?

The first night, a rock, big as two fists.
The second, a rock big as three.
But nary a curse cursed Rudolph Reed.
(Though oaken as man could be.)

The third night, a silvery ring of glass.
Patience arched to endure,
But he looked, and lo! small Mabel's blood
Was staining her gaze so pure.

Then up did rise our Roodoplh Reed
And pressed the hand of his wife,
And went to the door with a thirty-four
And a beastly butcher knife.

He ran like a mad thing into the night
And the words in his mouth were stinking.
By the time he had hurt his first white man
He was no longer thinking.

By the time he had hurt his fourth white man
Rudolph Reed was dead.
His neighbors gathered and kicked his corpse.
"Nigger--" his neighbors said.

Small Mabel whimpered all night long,
For calling herself the cause.
Her oak-eyed mother did no thing
But change the bloody gauze.
-
Gwendolyn Brooks

I liked her other poem, and I am still chewing on it, this one is less of a puzzle.

I like this one best of all so far


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


Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:26 pm
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One more post ought to do it.

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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
I never got an email prompt for the B's, of course....so gormless me thought we must be having a break. Sorry!!

I came on to put a poem on another thread, and found you. Frog....sorry babe....you must have thought you had a monologue on your hands. I'll try to keep up now. :(


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Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:53 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
HeH I figured you would find me sooner or later....whenever we switched threads in the 500 poems I would forget to go get the new thread until I realized it had been too long since I got a post...

Glad you found me though, I rather like having company :)


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


Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:51 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
Mary stood in the kitchen
Baking a loaf of bread.
An angel flew in the window
‘We’ve a job for you,’ he said.

‘God in his big gold heaven
Sitting in his big blue chair,
Wanted a mother for his little son.
Suddenly saw you there.’

Mary shook and trembled,
‘It isn’t true what you say.’
‘Don’t say that,’ said the angel.
‘The baby’s on its way.’

Joseph was in the workshop
Planing a piece of wood.
‘The old man’s past it,’ the neighbours said.
‘That girls been up to no good.’

‘And who was that elegant fellow,’
They said. ‘in the shiny gear?’
The things they said about Gabriel
Were hardly fit to hear.

Mary never answered,
Mary never replied.
She kept the information,
Like the baby, safe inside.

It was the election winter.
They went to vote in the town.
When Mary found her time had come
The hotels let her down.

The baby was born in an annexe
Next to the local pub.
At midnight, a delegation
Turned up from the Farmers’ club.

They talked about an explosion
That made a hole on the sky,
Said they’d been sent to the Lamb and Flag
To see God come down from on high.

A few days later a bishop
And a five-star general were seen
With the head of an African country
In a bullet-proof limousine.

‘We’ve come,’ they said ‘with tokens
For the little boy to choose.’
Told the tale about war and peace
In the television news.

After them cam the soldiers
With rifle and bombs and gun,
Looking for enemies of the state.
The family had packed up and gone.

When they got back to the village
The neighbours said, to a man,
‘That boy will never be one of us,
Though he does what he blessed well can.’

He went round to all the people
A paper crown on his head.
Here is some bread from my father.
Take, eat, he said.

Nobody seemed very hungry.
Nobody seemed to care.
Nobody saw the god in himself
Quietly standing there.

He finished up in the papers.
He came to a very bad end.
He was charged with bringing the living to life.
No man was that prisoner’s friend.

There’s only one kind of punishment
To fit that kind of crime.
They rigged a trial and shot him dead.
They were only just in time.

They lifted the young man by the leg,
Thy lifted him by the arm,
They locked him in a cathedral
In case he came to harm.

They stored him safe as water
Under seven rocks.
One Sunday morning he burst out
Like a jack-in-the-box.

Through the town he went walking.
He showed them the holes in his head.
Now do you want any loaves? He cried.
‘Not today’ they said.

Charles Causley

hmmmm a different spin on an old tale


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


Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:04 pm
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Post Re: The Rattle Bag: The B poems
The words aren't quite right, but we used to sing this one....

Be Merry

Whenever you see the hearse go by
And think to yourself that you're gonna die,
Be merry, my friends, be merry.

They put you in a big white shirt
And cover you over with tons of dirt,
Be merry, my friends, be merry.

They put you in a long shaped box
And cover you over with tons of rocks,
Be merry, my friends, be merry.

The worms crawl out and the worms crawl in,
The ones that crawl in are lean and thin,
The ones that crawl out are fat and stout
Be merry, my friends, be merry.

Your eyes fall in and your hair falls out
And your brains come tumbling down your snout,
Be merry, my friends, be merry.
Anon

Here's the one we used to sing
The Hearse Song
Don't you ever laugh as the hearse goes by,
For you may be the next to die.
They wrap you up in a big white sheet
From your head down to your feet.
They put you in a big black box
And cover you up with dirt and rocks.
All goes well for about a week,
Then your coffin begins to leak.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
The worms play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes
Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And pus pours out like whipping cream.
You spread it on a slice of bread,
And that's what you eat when you are dead.

The second one I found all over the internet, the first one I ended up typing in because the hearse song kept coming up. Its interesting how very similar they are.


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

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


Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:38 pm
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