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Scene around Belfast

November 13, 2011

Louise MacNeice, Valediction, Writer’s Square, Belfast

9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2011 3:29 pm

    Ah yes now, yer man MacNeice had a way with the words, didn’t he?

    I read this of his at my Dad’s funeral service

  2. Rab permalink*
    November 13, 2011 4:38 pm

    That is great. I’ve never read it before. But then again, I’ve read so little poetry. I’ve never really understood it – complete incomprehension of the form. I once said to a friend who is a published poet that I thought poetry was just lyrics in search of a good tune. I thought I was going to have to duck a punch! But I think I ‘get it’ now (at last). I think it has something to do with getting older and not being such a snotty punk… actually, I didn’t even like John Cooper Clarke. I liked Pam Ayers when I was a kid. Now, which one did You’ll Never See a Nipple in the Daily Express?

    • November 13, 2011 4:52 pm

      Ah, you just need to find the poet who reflects your life, and then it all clicks into place ….

      (M’ learned friends advise me to make clear beyond any reasonable doubt that the 2nd poem cannot be in any way seen to reflect your, or anyone you have ever met, life, except in terms of poetic licence)

  3. Rab permalink*
    November 13, 2011 7:25 pm

    I feel drawn to John Clare…

  4. November 13, 2011 8:26 pm

    Damn, the supposed humour in my previous comment has ebbed away entirely as the link to these two poems by Kevin Hopkins didn’t work.( But m’learned friends’ advice still holds)

    My Militant Tendency

    It’s nineteen eighty two and I know everything.
    Hippies are people who always end up asking
    Charles Manson to sing them another song.
    I’d rather be off putting some fascist through
    a glass door arseways, but being fifteen,
    have to mow the lawn first. Last year,
    Liverpool meant football; now
    it’s the Petrograd of the British Revolution.
    Instead of masturbation, I find socialism.
    While others dream of businessmen bleeding
    in basements; I promise to abolish double-chemistry class
    the minute I become Commissar. In all of this
    there is usually a leather jacket involved. I tell
    cousin Walter and his lovely new wife, Elizabeth,
    to put their aspirations in their underpants
    and smoke them; watch
    my dad’s life become a play:
    Sit Down In Anger.


    His world cracked like a brandy glass,
    when she said she was leaving, had
    met a man not yet beyond repair.
    The universe chuckled and moved on,
    not wishing to afflict the mocked. Now,
    he texts her to say he thinks he left
    his life’s work in the back of her car; and
    though the rabble-rouser she married
    vanished around 1975, he’s still against
    poverty on Wednesdays. She replies
    she should have known: inside
    yesterday’s perfectly sculpted revolutionary
    was always today’s paunchy liberal who slugs
    his cabernet, and watches daytime TV
    with an elderly Labrador named
    Adlai Stevenson, the Fourth

  5. Rab permalink*
    November 13, 2011 8:55 pm

    Kevin Hopkins? I like him. But I can’t find him anywhere in the Googleverse…

    In all of this
    there is usually a leather jacket involved.

    In my experience, this was true. I thought it was our uniform.

  6. November 13, 2011 8:58 pm

    From his ‘MySpace’ entry:

    “About me:
    I am an Irish poet living in Galway on the West coast. My first collection of poems, ‘The Boy With No Face’, was published by Salmon Poetry in February 2005. For more about The Boy With No Face see The collection was shortlisted by Thomas McCarthy for the 2006 Strong Award for Best First Collection by an Irish Poet. My second collection of poems, Time Gentlemen, Please, is published in March 2008 also by Salmon Poetry. I am greatly interested in poetry readings, and especially the places where the best, the most literary, performance poetry intersects with the livelier parts of the mainstream.I have done poetry readings at many venues around Ireland, and also in Paris, New York, London, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Kansas City…With my wife Susan I co-organise the Over The Edge literary events in Galway City for more about these see I also teach poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre

  7. Rab permalink*
    November 13, 2011 9:00 pm

    Galway! I wonder have I met him at some or other ‘event’. Gulp!

  8. November 13, 2011 9:03 pm

    Bugger, his name is Higgins. Sorry

    More here

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