Saturday, 9 January 2010

William Shakespeare walks into a pub...

... the barman yells, "Oi Shakespeare, you're Bard".

So anyway!

After weeks ploughing through my course book on how to write poetry, here is one of my sadder attempts. I rest my case.


The Hot water bottle

You keep me warm, cosy, comforted
You are covered in soft red fleece – fluffy like a spoilt kitten’s.
I hug you in fear of the cold
You never burn me
Sometimes I wonder if you will explode
Do I hug you too tightly? In my sleep do I roll over you and forget you are there? But you never do.
You never leak. You keep a circumference hot around the cold cotton sheets where I huddle foetal like
You keep the chill from chilling me

You are pliable, soft, and malleable like a baby with fur
Though you smell of singed rubber .
Water gurgles inside you
Water sloshes inside you

I can move you around my body for extra heat.
My feet are coldest and you rest there, heavy but not oppressive
My toes wiggle under the warmth
You do not move away
You do not turn over

You stay with me throughout the night when the temperature is beyond zero.
You chase the icicles away

In the morning you are still there
A little used, a little frazzled.
You stay with me as I drool and snore and snort
You always start heat-hot and grow lukewarm
But you never ever blow cold.



Lexi said...

I like the Shakespeare joke.

Hot water bottles are one of the cheapest luxuries there is, so I appreciate the sentiments and descriptions in your poem. In the current freeze, my hwb is my new best friend.

However, I can't get over my deep inner conviction that poetry should rhyme and scan, else it's just prose formatted in a quirky way. I'm sure your course book disagrees...

Old Kitty said...

Hi Lexi

Thanks for commenting - I really appreciate it.

Most people doing the course have bombarded our poor tutor with "Help! Where does the poem begin and the prose end?" We're all waiting with bated breath for his answer...

As for the poetry course - there's more, dear God in heaven there's more! It's like studying a different language and I'm absolutely rubbish at that.

I'm slowly working my way to the chapters on rhyme and form though and hope to produce loveliness like this (I can only hope and dream!):

The Shrimp:

A shrimp who sought his lady shrimp
Could catch no glimpse
Not even a glimp
At times, translucence
Is rather a nuisance.

by John Nash

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment you left on my blog earlier. I'm a big hot water bottle fan, so I like where you're going with this poem.

You may find the "where does poetry begin" question easier once you get on to those rhyme and form chapters. Free verse is tough when a poet's just starting out because it demands a much more practiced ear, no matter how counter-intuitive that might seem. I like having the framework of a traditional form in place. It does some of the work for me.

Old Kitty said...

Hi Kate

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your very helpful comments about poetry writing. I do hope that once I worked through the chapters on rhyme and form, I'd have that framework that you allude to. I really need that.

I've never found anything so challenging as this section of my course. So far it's been a real eye-opener. I'm having to re-read many of the poems the course book has used as examples and I'm definitely reading them with a more "learned" perspective. When I first started this section, I'd read one of the poems used as an example and I'd be none the wiser as to what the hell the poet was trying to say let alone appreciate the intricacies of the words use, the complexity of each line, and the effort - goodness the effort, emotionally and intellectually!

There's this really involved activity I'm doing at the moment: To "write things down using only images" e.g. paperclips lie on top of each other like sleeping ants etc.

It's really quite fun in a sadistic kind of way!


Take care

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I've just Googled my way to your site and love your poem.
I love hot water bottles so much I would like to see a whole compendium of poems written in their praise.
Here is my effort. Hope you like it

I love my hottie bottle.
The best invention ever.
It brings me warmth and comfort.
My faithful friend forever.

My bottle's soft and rubbery
And very nice to cuddle.
No matter how I squeeze it
It rarely leaves a puddle.

I slip one in between the sheets,
It warms my feet all night.
The second one is there to snuggle
And make me feel just right.

The smell of rubber some would say
is strange, but I think not.
I find it rather soothing,
Especially when it's hot

I've had my bottles many years
They’ve all become my friends
But being made of rubber
Will wear out in the end.

I woke the other morning
About 3 o'clock I think.
My bottle's leaked inside my bed!
I dump it in the sink!

When morning comes I take a look
and find my bottles burst.
The rubber's split, it's got a hole
It’s as I feared, the worst!

I'm sad about my bottle
What happens to it now?
I can't just throw it in the bin.
No way. Not Yet. No how.