Little Poems About Authors

I spent this evening at the Penguin Bloggers’ Night, which I’ll write about properly next week – lovely to see the old guard (as Kim described us on Twitter!) and to meet some new faces – and, of course, to hear the authors read extracts from their forthcoming books.  More on’t that soon.

The writers mural at Barter Books, Alnwick

What I’m writing today, instead, is somewhat fanciful… on the train home, I started to craft little poems about authors.  Some sincere, but mostly frivolous.  I thought you might enjoy reading them – and that, hopefully, they’ll inspire you to follow suit (either in the comments here, or on your own blogs.)  Here are the four I made up on the train journey!  Do have a go; it’s fun, and makes you feel a bit like you might be Dorothy Parker’s new best friend.

George Eliot; or, Asking for Eliot in a Bookshop
Who’d have guessed, dear Mary Anne,
Your efforts to be thought a man
Would lead, in the next century,
To: “Sorry, sir, T.S. or G.?”

Virginia Woolf
The Angels of the House you slew,
And buried in decorous graves,
Leaving (with arched eyebrow) you:
The common reader who made waves.

Philip Larkin’s Legacy
Oh Larkin, yes, you swore; that’s fine.
But no-one knows the second line.

What’s troublin’ ya?
I am glum; something’s marred me.
Life is hard; I am Hardy.

27 thoughts on “Little Poems About Authors

  • March 27, 2013 at 11:44 pm
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    Oh goodness these are good. I liked the one about Woolf, although… in light of tomorrow's anniversary, that's a very bitter-sweet last line. :l

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    • March 30, 2013 at 12:09 am
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      Thanks so much, Samara!
      Oops, yes… I meant it in the 'wrote The Waves' sense, but it definitely could be misinterpreted…

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    • April 23, 2013 at 10:05 pm
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      I knew you meant the novel… but her life, death, and works are so intertwined for me. I suppose she was elegantly transparent in her works.

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  • March 28, 2013 at 12:03 am
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    Just think… that if our trains had worked out, we'd have chatted all the way back and thus been deprived of these super ditties!

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    • March 30, 2013 at 12:10 am
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      Ha! Yes, I had to forego one pleasure, but I am rather pleased with the results of the substitute… see you soon, Annabel!

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  • March 28, 2013 at 11:50 am
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    Haha, these are great! I love the Larkin one especially. I like his stuff, but it's so true.

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    • March 30, 2013 at 12:11 am
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      Thank you, Dan, that's really kind of you!
      I am one of those people who only know the one line of Larkin… until Karen enlightened me below!

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  • March 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm
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    I think they are lovely, Simon. Short, simple, beautiful.
    Ok, I wrote one as well. I’ve never done it before, not even in Polish, so please be understanding (there is probably more grammar mistakes than words in my poem). I’ve chosen Szymborska as you wrote about her some time ago.

    ‘Nobody writes so simple (and beautiful) as you’
    Once I said to Szymborska out of the blue.
    She looked around, put on her specs:
    ‘In fact’ she said ‘there is a young man
    (Who travels home on the train)
    And he will be next’.

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    • March 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm
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      Ops! I didn't give my poem a title. As it sounds (to me) like a work of a certain American writer I decide to call it: 'Szymborska in the hat' ;)

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    • March 30, 2013 at 12:12 am
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      That's so beautiful, Agnieszka (and so kind!) – I love it! Thank you so much for contributing it – it has a gentle sort of beauty which reminds me of Szymborska herself.

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  • March 29, 2013 at 2:46 am
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    Seriously, Simon, you must give your every last ounce of effort and find a way to manufacture your delightful joy in life, put it in little bottles and send a crate to me right now! I come to you to be rewarded with a guaranteed smile. Love your poems – am leaning towards giving my full marks to Larkin and Hardy, though they all made me blossom into a smile…

    Love your glorious blog.

    Jane

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    • March 30, 2013 at 12:13 am
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      Aww, thank you, Jane – that's lovely! I have to say, from your comments here, it sounds as though you've got enthusiasm and loveliness bottled already :)

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  • March 29, 2013 at 10:42 am
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    Loved the Larkin poem.

    Sue

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    • March 30, 2013 at 12:14 am
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      That was the one which came to me first, and inspired me to keep thinking :)

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  • March 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm
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    Nice! Sadly uninspired on this end, but yours made me smile. Larkin & Hardy, especially!

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  • March 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm
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    Simon, you never cease to entertain. Wonderfully clever.

    I could only get this far:

    On the Self

    What the Dickens?
    Surely, no slim pickin's!

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    • March 30, 2013 at 12:15 am
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      Aww, thanks Belle, that means a lot :)
      And nice Dickens couplet! He certainly doesn't deal in slim pickings!

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    • March 30, 2013 at 12:15 am
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      Thank you so much, Anbolyn! I thought I'd cracked Hardy with Jude the Obscure, but this couplet is in 'honour' of wading through The Return of the Native…

      Reply
  • March 30, 2013 at 12:21 am
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    Ha ha, they're all quite good! Can we have more, please?

    Reply

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