Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Friday, December 25, 2015

The knitting Madonna--

Eric Gill, Madonna and child and angel, 1916
Woodblock on paper
At the Tate and other collections
Merry Christmas!

6 comments:

  1. Sonnet: Getting the right thing to the right
    place at the right time
    (ie, good logistics)

    We went in strong and used our rightful power
    To wreck their homes, their herds and nascent crops,
    While they – surprise! – replied within the hour
    And now we’re searching for unpoisoned lots.

    Mountains we’ll need, an ocean and a plain,
    Work on an unimaginable scale.
    That planet, there, displays a greenish stain,
    We’ll re-create and live to tell the tale.

    But what comes first: rock faces or the sea?
    And where’s the truck to carry loads outright?
    Do rivers carve their own geography,
    Or do their mossy banks come palletised?

    We’ll need some special expertise, I see
    It’s rather more than mere accountancy.

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  2. Ah, you did it! Very clever. I like it. Might argue a bit about "live to tell the tale," though it seems natural there in terms of fitting-in. Sneaky slant rhyme there with palletised...

    Thanks! Poems for Christmas are always good (got some under the tree as well.)

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  3. Oh look, that was way beyond the call of duty. Was it Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? And the thing was hardly worth your efforts, too casual and only one step away from doggerel. I’ll never presume again but I felt at least I should repair the defects you pointed out. And then one thing led to another. Feel free to ignore this entirely or, at the very least, leave it until the New Year. My shameful thanks.

    Sonnet: On good logistics.

    We went in strong and used our rightful power
    To scorch their kind from flesh to skeletons,
    While they – Good grief! – replied within an hour
    And left us victims of a thousand suns.

    Mountains we’ll need, an ocean and a plain,
    Work on an unimaginable scale.
    That planet, there, hints at a greenish stain,
    We’ll re-locate; let hopefulness prevail!

    But which comes first: rock faces or the sea?
    And where are ways to generate new force?
    Do rivers carve their own geography,
    Or are their mossy banks pre-packed at source?

    We’ll need some special expertise, I see
    It’s rather more than mere accountancy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmm, it must have been a lull in the action on Christmas Day. I hardly remember, the day was so lively!

    And oh, there's much, much more clarity here, particularly in the first stanza. Like that scale / prevail rhyme, and the increase overall in the long "a" sounds in that second stanza. Also the "to skeletons" / "a thousand suns" rhythm and rhyme match-up in the first.

    It's probably okay that the response is (if taken too literally) from skeletons, but I did consider that logic... But I am wondering about the "Good grief!" It's possibly an exclamation that, on this side of the water, has been spoiled for use by over-exposure to Peanuts. (Poor Charlie Brown.)

    Thanks! Always good to start the day with a poem. (I was up till three, after staying up to talk a long time to energetic young people, and so didn't wake until 9:30.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, what a service. I see the point of skeletons. Will ponder. There are plenty of two-syllable options for Good Grief - blasphemous at one end, utterly coarse at the other. Thanks a lot. I shall be very careful not to abuse your southern hospitality

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any time!

      I'm off into the rainy (so weird for us--usually we have snow hills) day to visit a friend in rehab.

      Delete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.