Given up on the blog?

One day off and this is the sort of comment I get as pass T in the east wing. I think this forum might be the only way she finds out about me, now. Anyway, T, so I’m trying to write this novel which starts out in Paris, France, and so French things are often creeping through my thoughts like a rackety deux chevaux (and whenever I think a line anything like this I scratch it out immediately). There’s this poem by James Fenton I’ve always loved, I can practically recite it. It’s from my old favourite collection, Out of Danger. Just looking at it now for the first time in a few years I suddenly thought, ‘Isn’t it just a tiny bit corny, though…?’ (This could be the cynical prose writer coming over all latent.)

I lifted it from a poetry site where it got User Rating of 8.8 /10 (20 votes). Interesting to discover that poems have users:
‘I had my first haiku in a arts centre in ’84, that led onto sonnets and before I knew where I was I was blowing sixty quid a day on villanelles. ‘

In Paris With You

Don’t talk to me of love. I’ve had an earful
And I get tearful when I’ve downed a drink or two.
I’m one of your talking wounded.
I’m a hostage. I’m maroonded.
But I’m in Paris with you.

Yes I’m angry at the way I’ve been bamboozled
And resentful at the mess I’ve been through.
I admit I’m on the rebound
And I don’t care where are we bound.
I’m in Paris with you.

Do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre
If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame,
If we skip the Champs Elysées
And remain here in this sleazy
Old hotel room
Doing this and that
To what and whom
Learning who you are,
Learning what I am.

Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris,
The little bit of Paris in our view.
There’s that crack across the ceiling
And the hotel walls are peeling
And I’m in Paris with you.

Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris.
I’m in Paris with the slightest thing you do.
I’m in Paris with your eyes, your mouth,
I’m in Paris with… all points south.
Am I embarrassing you?
I’m in Paris with you.

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11 Responses to Given up on the blog?

  1. markelt says:

    I heard it in the voice of John Hegley, who I am aware of, not James Fenton, who I’m not.

    You used to be my cup of tea
    But now you’re not so hot.
    You couldn’t see enough of me
    But now you see the lot.
    It used to be a mystery
    But now it’s only us.
    You used to be my cup of tea
    But now you’re more like pus.

  2. OS says:

    Well, might as well…

    ‘Twas a Sunday morning in November,
    As I very well remember,
    I was strolling down the street in drunken pride,
    But my knees were all aflutter,
    So I landed in the gutter,
    And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

    Yes I lay there in the gutter
    Thinking thoughts I could not utter,
    When a lady passing by did softly say,
    “Ye can tell a man that boozes
    By the company he chooses” –
    At that the pig got up and walked away.


  3. Stephen Foster says:

    I see fatherhood has mellowed you.

  4. OS says:

    It hadn’t at about ten 2 five on saturday. 😉


  5. markelt says:


    The Tay Bridge Disaster
    William McGonagall

    Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
    Alas! I am very sorry to say
    That ninety lives have been taken away
    On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.
    ‘Twas about seven o’clock at night,
    And the wind it blew with all its might,
    And the rain came pouring down,
    And the dark clouds seemed to frown,
    And the Demon of the air seem’d to say —
    “I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay.”

    When the train left Edinburgh
    The passengers’ hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
    But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
    Which made their hearts for to quail,
    And many of the passengers with fear did say —
    “I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay.”

    But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
    Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
    And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
    On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

    So the train sped on with all its might,
    And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
    And the passengers’ hearts felt light,
    Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
    With their friends at home they lov’d most dear,
    And wish them all a happy New Year.

    So the train mov’d slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
    Until it was about midway,
    Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
    And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
    The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
    Because ninety lives had been taken away,
    On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

    As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
    The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
    And the cry rang out all o’er the town,
    Good heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
    And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
    Which fill’d all the people’s hearts with sorrow,
    And made them all for to turn pale,
    Because none of the passengers were sav’d to tell the tale
    How the disaster happen’d on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

    It must have been an awful sight,
    To witness in the dusky moonlight,
    While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
    Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay.
    Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
    I must now conclude my lay
    By telling the world fearlessly without least dismay,
    That your central girders would not have given way,
    At least many sensible men do say,
    Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
    At least many sensible men confesses,
    For the stronger we our houses do build,
    The less chance we have of being killed.

  6. Stephen Foster says:

    I seem to have started off some sort of roccoco Poetry Slam.

    It was never my intention.

  7. chiffs says:

    McGonagall is a genius. Was he Peot Lorralot?

  8. OS says:

    From the greatest of them all…

    It’s late in the evening;
    I’m wondering what clothes to wear.
    I put on my tracksuit
    and start brushing my smooth dark hair
    And then I say to myself, Do I look all right?
    And then I say, ‘DDM’, you look en-or-mass tonight!

    We go the Dojo, and everyone turns to see
    This beautiful Haggis, that’s swinging around with me.
    And then I think to myself, Does it feel all right?
    And then I say ‘DDM’,
    your jackhammer feels wonderful tonight!

    It’s time to go home now,
    and I’ve got an aching head,
    So I pick up the car keys, and help myself in to bed.
    And then I tell to myself, as I turn out the light,
    I say, Darling,
    you were en-or-mass tonight.
    Oh ‘DDM’, it just felt wonderful tonight.


  9. Stephen Foster says:

    I don’t rightly know whether we can allow this filthy Oatcakeia on here. This is a family blog u kno.

  10. chiffs says:

    OS is a genius. Make him Peot Winalot!

    (But OS, who is DDM?)

  11. OS says:

    DDM (Desperate Dan Miggs), ChiffS, is an internet legend of en-or-mass proportions. 😉


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