slemslempike: (m&c: reading)
I am reading The Far Side of the World. Jack has sent to see if Stephen wants to come and watch chase. Stephen is below deck cataloguing some beetles, and the reply comes: "he says that if he is given a direct order to come and enjoy himself in the cold driving rain if not sleet too as well as a tempest of wind he will of course be delighted to obey." By which I mean of course that I hope everyone who chose to go out tonight has a lovely time. But more than that I hope everyone else is allowed to catalogue their beetles undisturbed.

I have finished off the level of Angry Birds that stalled me for two days! Now I have a bird that turns into a BOMB.

My mum told me there was extra milk in the garage, but I could only find wine. I ran the milk to ground in the freezer. I have had Alpen which always seems like it's going to be more filling than it is. I have eaten all the smoked salmon. Perhaps a turkey sandwich next.

This post, which I found on friendsfriends, is really annoying me! I know that I know the poem too, and yet I cannot think where it is from. It's not in either of the Milne children's poetry collections I have. Can any of you put me out of my misery?
slemslempike: (discworld: Susan)
I got a copy of Letters to Ms. in Chicago, and bookmarked this letter to post, then forgot about it until now.

When I saw that in my spelling book they had "the Queen is the wife of a King," I got really mad. Even though I'm only nine years old, and only in the fourth grade, I've written five poems. One from the five I thought you might want to put in Ms. Here it is:

If you think I'm going to slave
in the kitchen for a man who is
supposed to be brave,
Then I'm sorry to say,
but you're wrong all the way,
Because I'm going to be an astronaut.

Anita Buzick III
Killeen, Texas
June 1975 issue

I like that very much. I hope that Anita kept writing poetry, and ended up doing something she loved.
slemslempike: (books: pigtails)
I have been reading 101 Poems by 101 Women for several years now. Slowly. It is edited by Germaine Greer, and the poems are arranged chronologically, starting with Anne Askew in 1564. I have finally reached the 1950s, and am starting to enjoy it more. I have liked reading the earlier poems, but they tend towards the long and tortuously rhyming which is not at all my preferred style. I had not come across this poem before, and I liked it a lot, so I am posting it. It is not very short, so most of it's under a cut.

The Centaur
By May Swenson (1956)

The summer that I was ten—
Can it be there was only one
summer that I was ten? It must

have been a long one then—
each day I’d go out to choose
a fresh horse from my stable

which was a willow grove
down by the old canal.
I’d go on my two bare feet.

The Centaur. )

I am going to see The Habit of Art with [ profile] whatho next month, and I think I should try to read some Auden, and possibly also listen to some Britten. Generally I don't do any preparation for plays, I like to see if they stand alone (and also I am lazy), but somehow it seems that I might get more out of it if I knew something. I'm not sure.

I am currently roasting a chicken. I put onion and garlic and a lemon in it and everything. I'm going to have roast potatos with it, and then I'm going to make stock, and on Saturday I'm going to (try and) make risotto for the first time ever. I can't tell you how grown up I feel.


Oct. 8th, 2009 08:02 pm
slemslempike: (snooker: maguire peekaboo)
It's National Poetry Day! And lots of people on my flist have also been talking specifically about women poets. I combine the two with this extract from Dimsie Among the Prefects. One of the original rules of the Anti-Soppist League was that no member should write poetry (poetry being dreadfully soppy, of course). The ASL was formed when they were juniors, but there is no less need for watchfulness in Div 1. Jean Gordon, however, was found out at the beginning of term to be a secretly budding poet. This was reluctantly allowed to pass, so long as she kept to suitable subjects like the dear old school. However, later in the term, she is discovered deviating from these clear rules:

What's the matter with Jean's poetry? )

My bathroom book at the moment is Germaine Greer's collection 101 Poems by 101 Women, which is arranged chronologically, and I'm up to Christina Rossetti. Unfortunately the poems have got longer than I like, and since I am thankfully currently free from intestinal difficulty I am not managing to get through them so easily. I mostly like poems rather than poets, but here are my ten:

Ten women poets. )

I don't care if the last one's a cheat, I think of it as an entity, and it's the first book of poetry I ever bought myself. I was 15/16 and on holiday in Wales with my family and my childhood best friend Chloe and her family. I had blue hair and I was sulking because if I hadn't been on holiday I would have been going to see Dinosaur Jr with my soon-to-be-boyfriend Daniel. We went to the bookshop in Machynlleth, where I spent all my holiday money on my book, and Chloe bought A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man because she loved the line "when you wet the bed first it is warm and then it is cold". We read our respective books when we went to bed that night huddled under blankets because it was technically summer but we were in a damp cottage up what might have been a mountain with no heating.


Sep. 5th, 2009 10:16 pm
slemslempike: (sharpe: whorse)
A link and a thought about men. )

And I like this poem: pick-up lines for feminists, which I saw linked in Bitch's feminist joke contest. (Sadly they have not yet got many good comments - I think the joke about waves is particularly poor, but I do like the masturbating one.) Anyone who says this:

your feet must be tired.
because you have been
running through my
mind and struggling
against the repressive
gender roles
that we have been
socialized into
all day.

to me is pretty much guaranteed a patriarchy-subverting consensual sexual encounter of a mutually satisfying nature to be determined through a fair and transparent system of democratic decision-making.

I went to the theatre in Manchester. )
slemslempike: (Default)
A Question of Courage - Marjorie Darke
The Lower Fourth Excels Itself - Nancy Breary
Juniors Will Be Juniors - Nancy Breary
Mainly About the Fourth - Nancy Breary
The Spell - Alan Hollinghurst
Summer's Day - Mary Bell
London Pride - Joanna Cannan
Clothes-Pegs - Susan Scarlett
Murder While You Work - Susan Scarlett
At Lady Molly's - Anthony Powell
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris
Persepolis - Marianne Satrapi
Black Hearts in Battersea - Joan Aiken
Love Poems - Brian Patten
The Ice Cream Army - Jessica Gregson
Sex and the British - Paul Ferris
Casanova's Chinese Restaurant - Anthony Powell
Ken & Em: The Biograpy of Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson - Ian Shuttleworth
The Kindly Ones - Anthony Powell
That Was Satire That Was: The Satire Boom of the 1960s - Humphrey Carpenter

August Books. )
slemslempike: (discworld: can't be having)
A little bit ago [ profile] nineveh_uk posted about The Faber Book of Blue Verse, and I liked the poems she posted so much I went and got myself a copy.

I found it an odd read. It's not a collection of erotic verse - the blurb calls it "candidly sexual literature", and says that the collection features work which "demonstrated humankind's touching, tender, ribald, coarde and technically adept explorations of that perennially fascinating subject - sex".

There are a couple of poems I really liked, and lots that made me laugh. Some I found very jarring though. There are quite a few poems that are about rape, some overtly ('Rape' by Tom Pickard), some less so. The collection opens with 'Eskimo Nell', which I didn't know, and which has a man shoot a woman through the vagina in an attempt to kill her. I was feeling pretty angry about this, because I felt that a collection that purported to be about sex ought to be about consensual acts rather than sexual violence. Thinking about it though, I think that as its not erotic, it's more blurred and perhaps should include a broader collection of experiences than I first thought.

Then I realised that this thing that bothers me is that it's all one sided. There are only poems about the experiences of rapists - there is nothing comparable about the experience of women, or men, who have been raped or sexually assaulted. So "blue", which implies something playful, something designed to offend people but make other people laugh, can encompass the experiences of being the one who assaults, but the experiences of those who are assaulted are not admitted, as this might undermine the whole thing. Ugh. I'm not explaining this very well, it went much better when I was thinking about it in bed. I should never have got up.

The closet the collection comes is 'the thing you'll like best' by Zoë Fairbairns )

I really, really like that.

I also liked Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's response to Jonathan Swift's The Lady's Dressing-Room, which is The Reasons That Induced Dr Swift to Write a Poem Called 'The Lady's Dressing-Room', which ends:

'She answered short, I'm glad you'll write.
You'll furnish paper when I shite.
slemslempike: (books: slemslempike)
November and December books )

So, here's what I read last year:

And then in handy table format.

20 books fewer than last year, but more children's and more rereads. Also I have been doing more work reading (honest) and lots of lying around doing abolutely nothing.

I am very snotty and a bit wobbly and unable to sleep because my body is doing hot and cold all at once, but I have to go onto campus and do workshops and supervision and somehow seem intelligent.
slemslempike: (Default)
When I was fifteenish, I was into Beat Poets, and my English teacher encouraged this, because he was involved with AK press and various other ventures, and told me where I might find some poetry by women. This was one of my favourite poems when I was doing my teen angst things, and I still like it very much. I am pretty much incapable of remembering poems, though, and all I can ever remember of this is the first line, and that's only because it's the same as the title.

First they slaughtered the angels )

(Oh, I also like this, which is by Diane Di Prima. This is the whole poem: "Get your cut throat off my knife.")


slemslempike: (Default)

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