This is the Message Centre for a girl called Ben

Poetry

Post 1

a girl called Ben

As a fair number of folks here know, I write poetry. I don't however post it here because of the copyright issues. I have therefore set up a geocities site which includes most of what I write. I am going to use this thread to post links to new poems as I write them.

One thing I am aware of is a reticence when it comes to critiqeing poetry. Poetry often seems scary, (mine is as lucid and simple as I can make it - so don't be afraid). And they can seem too personal to say things like: 'I'm uncomfortable with ... the "quilt" line, I'd prefer it if you were simply wrapping yourself in the "knowledge of your love."' However I welcome that sort of comment, because I don't know what works in other peoples' minds, and what doesn't. I am robust, and don't take offence about that sort of thing.

So - you are cordially invited to take a look at and comment on my latest two poems, and indeed any others you find on the same page, or linked to it.

And I am always open to more abstract dicussions about poetry.

I'll update this thread the next time the muse grabs me by the subconscious and shakes me till the words start flowing. Bitch that she is.

B

Poems:
http://uk.geocities.com/bethcargill/toofar.html#travelling
and immediately following that one: http://uk.geocities.com/bethcargill/toofar.html#theprice


Poetry

Post 2

Vicki Virago - Proud Mother

If you want to read mine, they are....


A1004932

and

1002060</.BR>


Poetry

Post 3

Vicki Virago - Proud Mother

If you want to read mine, they are....


A1004932

and

A1002060


Poetry

Post 4

Mu Beta

I think the main reason people are scared of critiquing (is this a word?) poetry is that they wouldn't expect anyone else to do the same for them. Poetry is often a deeply personal and intense form of output, and as most people don't want their's criticised, so they wouldn't criticise other people's.

I write lots of UnderGuide-type material, but I'd never dream of publishing it on site.

B


Poetry

Post 5

a girl called Ben

I do critique poems posted on h2g2 because I am so intensely interested in what other people thing of mine. What goes around comes around, and all that.

It is all a matter of style. There is a big difference between criticism "that line sucks, and you have a tin ear" and critique "the line about quilts doesn't do it for me, and I am not sure about the rhythm in the third stanza".

And once my poems are outside, they are outside, if you see what I mean.

B
*smiley - runs off to read Vicki's*


Poetry

Post 6

raymondo

here's one of mine


Football Nazis
Sit in their cars
Huddled under the stars
Like wagons against the Indians
The newly laid tuff trampled beneath their tires
Their beams of light stabbing into the rainy night
Highlighting the clashing hordes of wet and bruised children
A cheer goes up
A point scored
Only practice doesn’t count, but this
Self-organized beast has fragmented like a china plate down the center
Two dimensional and vague
Into two new parts that were not a minute ago
They abhor their other half
Proving that all atoms are alike
Soon they will rejoin
And hate someone else
Loathing all, they compete for victory
Blitzing all that come before them
Years later their brethren scattered into new configurations
Know not each other
Except under the skin they are all baptized by the same pain and fire
Hating all
They seek only the goal of professional abuse
And gold beyond a prince’s dreams
Then to retire early and sell insurance on TV


Poetry

Post 7

Mu Beta

I don't know. I'd just feel uncomfortable commenting on stuff that is obviously very personal.

When you get it into a book and are getting paid royalties, I'll gladly be as rude as you want about it, though.smiley - smiley

B


Poetry

Post 8

a girl called Ben

A challenge! I like a challenge! When I get it into a book, and am being paid royalties, I will post you a copy Master B, so that you can be as rude about it as you like! smiley - biggrin

B


Poetry

Post 9

a girl called Ben

Blimey - we are all coming out of the woodwork now!

A quick question, Raymondo. Line 5: "The newly laid tuff" - is that a typo for "stuff", or for "turf", or should it actually read "tuff"? I find I am the last person to notice typos in my - er - stuff.

I find this fairly challenging; I understand competition, I have some sort of understanding of war and of testosterone, but I know nothing about sport. "The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton" - I will never think of school sports in the same way again.

I remember years and years ago the big hall at our Students' Union Buidling at Uni was used for childrens' boxing. These undernourished little 10 year old Geordie kids, with boxing gloves as big as their heads, on arms like white spagetti, were being watched by great big men. It was a surreal distortion of a cattle market.

Those same kids now, if they went on to become boxers, would be retiring soon, with cauliflower ears, and scars on their eyebrows, and slightly slower of thought than they were that night.

I hadn't thought about that for decades.

Thank you.

Ben


Poetry

Post 10

raymondo

thx, it should be turf
this poem was inspired by the city park next to our house. We watched in horror one evening as practice was held in the rain (heavy rain mind you) for some 11 year old boys. Since the rain made it dark, the parents drove on the newly lain turf with their cars and turned on their lights to light up the playing field, since they hadn't paid the city to turn on the lights ($15)

It sort of reminded me of a 50 mile hike I undertook in the rain on Okinawa when I was 11...

but that is another poem

ray


Poetry

Post 11

J

smiley - bigeyes You know I'm afraid of commenting on poetry, but I'll be happy to read them...

smiley - popcorn

smiley - blacksheep


Poetry

Post 12

Gone again

"I cannot be a fool again"

Thanks for that one line, Ben. On its own, it was worth checking out your off-site page. smiley - ok No further comments, I'm afraid. Most of it is too personal. I do get the feeling that I'm being a bit of a voyeur even reading it, and my Catholic upbringing rolls out the guilt once more...! smiley - erm

Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"


Poetry

Post 13

a girl called Ben

Well, if I tell you that the *really* personal stuff isn't on there, does that make a difference, P-C?

I showed that one to my flatmate (who silently but strongly disapproves of my situation) and her question was "So you don't want wisdom?" An interesting comment - I had assumed that the whole point of that particular poem was to say that now that I have a choice, there is in fact no choice. I think I will dedicate it to Esmerelda Weatherwax.

B


Poetry

Post 14

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

smiley - laugh I loved the poems, Ben!

i don't have the muse. They made me consider ... well I'll tell you when I next see you!
smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote


Poetry

Post 15

a girl called Ben

Soon I hope - can't you manage one little weeknight late in August?

Interested girlies want to know!

B


Poetry

Post 16

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

Depends on childcare - I want to be there!

smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote


Poetry

Post 17

Ameuc

In 'Just Looking', you have such an incredible ending; ‘Do stalkers feel those moments of private intimacy all the time?’ – love it.

The throes of the up and downs of a relationship are poignantly and wonderfully reflected, as ever, in your newest poetry.

You know what Ben, I would love to see you try for some thing a little bit off beam. Just some stuff without the rhyming. See it as a challenge if you want because there is some evocative stuff in your verses that I believe would really flow if you let off the restraints.

What do you think? Willing to give it a go?


Friend Ame


Poetry

Post 18

Felonious Monk - h2g2s very own Bogeyman

I like it. It reminds me of Wendy Cope. I could not write poetry to save my life, so I'm constantly in awe of those who can.


Poetry

Post 19

azahar

hi Ben,

I remember we once had a chat about poetry and I claimed my own insecurity about not knowing *how* to read poetry properly. But I did check out your stuff and I liked it very much. Cannot offer any sort of intelligent comment, let alone criticism, but I found many of the pieces very moving and real.

I can only say that if that wasn't the really 'personal stuff' then, whoah! The personal stuff must be quite something.

az


Poetry

Post 20

a girl called Ben

Blimey - nice people saying such nice things!

I was a bit confused by your comment about trying to write poems that don't rhyme, Ame. 'Travelling' doesn't rhyme! A good 2/3 of my stuff is free verse, and though I am fairly disciplined about it, it doesn't have a formal meter or a formal rhyming pattern.

I do try to write very simply, and I try to write as if the words I've chosen were chosen for their meaning alone, and - oh look! what a lovely coincidence - they just happen to scan perfectly and rhyme the way they should. If I could write something as simple and neatly powerful as this by Larkin, I would be happy:

They f**k you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with all the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

I keep on meaning to read Wendy Cope. I also keep on meaning to read Ffiona Pitt-Keithly, or whatever her name is.

Cheers, m'dears.

B


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