Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Tuesday Poem - a dog s life

Years ago, when the Word Tree, under Marian Spires, used to run thematic readings, I was asked to feature on the subject 'insects'. I actually misheard Marian and thought she'd said 'incest' - a subject which I thought would easily provide (bleak) inspiration. I was already thinking of Greek mythology when she repeated the theme: insects. Okay, then. Back to the drawing board. At some stage in the intervening month I remembered that glorious insect poet hero - don marquis's archy - and decided I'd bring him out of retirement. I had enormous fun writing these and remain grateful that the topic wasn't incest, which could have resulted in a miserable writing month!

you can call me archy
poet blogger email correspondent
and unfortunately cockroach in this incarnation
like my ancestor the vers libre bard
and so am i boss so am i
one day you will find my file
and think archy now what can that be
and my words will scroll onto your screen
just the creative struggles of your common
cockroach on his way to a higher transmirgration
if you read this leave more food out
a poet needs more than blu stick to keep
ectoskeleton and soul together i should take up
rap like that rat in your compost but vers libre bard
i was and that i will remain you can call me
archy again

catherine bateson - with thanks to don marquis

Do you remember archy? When you've found your copy of archy and mehitabel (what edition do you have?), take a stroll over to the Tuesday Poetry Hub where Jennifer Compton, this week's editor, has posted 'Southbank', a poem by Petra White.

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