Saturday, 27 August 2011

Giving up Smoking

Giving up Smoking

Wendy Cope found a place in my heart with Two Cures For Love, which cushioned a love sick afternoon a few years ago.
Cope, (born 21 July 1945) is an award-winning contemporary English poet. She read history at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She now lives inEly with the poet Lachlanå Mackinnon.
Some of her poems are written in the persona of a struggling male poet, Jake Strugnell, a slightly seedy figure from Tulse Hill. She displays her talent forparody with targets ranging from the sonnets of Sir Philip Sidney:

My true love hath my heart and I have hers
We swapped last Tuesday and felt quite elated
But now whenever one of us refers
To 'my heart' things get rather complicated.

to reducing T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land to limericks:

In April one seldom feels cheerful;
Dry stones, sun and dust make me fearful;
Clairvoyants distress me,
Commuters depress me—
Met Stetson and gave him an earful.

Her style has been compared to that of John Betjeman and Philip Larkin.

Was thinking about that good old Cope quote and how wonderfully true it is:

Two Cures for Love

  1. Don't see him. Don't phone or write a letter.
  2. The easy way: get to know him better.
Then read this, which made my heart race with it's preciseness. Is precise the right word? It has a beautiful 'to the point' quality to it - which love should be; to the point.

Giving Up Smoking

There's not a Shakespeare sonnet
Or a Beethoven quartet
That's easier to like than you
Or harder to forget.

You think that sounds extravagant?
I haven't finished yet --
I like you more than I would like
To have a cigarette.

I've stumbled across a few poems about cigarettes that I've enjoyed. Discovered this in 2009, first year of university. In hindsight I see that this is yet another of the poems I have collected about love, or lost love particularly - which as of now, I am going to try and move away from. I have spoken to a couple of people, who, as non smokers, have spoken of either the disgust or the thrill of kissing a smoker. I discovered, around this time that I was in the latter of these categories...

One Cigarette
by Edwin Morgan
No smoke without you, my fire.
After you left,
your cigarette glowed on in my ashtray
and sent up a long thread of such quiet grey
I smiled to wonder who would believe its signal
of so much love. One cigarette
in the non-smoker's tray.
As the last spire
trembles up, a sudden draught
blows it winding into my face.
Is it smell, is it taste?
You are here again, and I am drunk on your tobacco lips.
Out with the light.
Let the smoke lie back in the dark.
Till I hear the very ash
sigh down among the flowers of brass
I'll breathe, and long past midnight, your last kiss.
And this, liked by Joseph Gidley, read to me in Budapest 2011. After a few poetry disagreements, we both agreed on this one:

Togara Muzanenhamo

For а brief moment І was lost in а thought
While walking up the flight of staіrs to her room -
Her hand leading me up, my eyes catching а flash
Of her bare thighs under а simple yellow skirt -

And І was а boy again, in that small moment,
Holding а present І had longed and wished for -
Bright blue emotions sparks in mid-іgnition
Bursting in my chest - lights never to grow old.

When І think of her leading me upstairs to her bed,
There's always а thought of that one precious Christmas -
The lightweight pig-iron cap-gun, the blind surprise
And spurt of gunpowder-smoke after the first bang.

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