Sunday, 27 January 2019

Only Cotton


Dear Reader,

Lots of my cherished books I have kept for years and 'Understanding Poetry' by James Reeves is still one of my favourites. It first came out in 1965 but I think everything he writes about poetry is pertinent to today.  I thought I would share these quotes with you.

'poetry has existed from the earliest times as a manifestation of the human spirit and a relief from, or expression of, emotion.  The forms of poetry have changed, and its uses and purposes have varied from age to age but one thing is certain: the primary purpose of poetry is magic.

'The desire to communicate to express, to give voice to emotion, is the root from which all poetry springs.  All poetry has to do with communication; but it is not merely saying something in a special way, it is a special form of words which has the power, magical power, to evoke certain responses in
the hearer or the reader, and this power never leaves it.

'But the reason poetry has virtue at all times lies in the need of man for magical formulations, word-patterns, which give expression to emotional or intellectual situations perpetually recurrent in the human condition'.

 I have always wondered where lines of poetry came from that come into my head and am very happy to know that there is a sort of magic that goes with them.


Only Cotton

In the Southern Punjab
the sun scorches, the insects hum,
small pieces of cotton dust
fill the air,
whirl, suffocate, poison.
Aruni and Paloma, ten and twelve,
bend and pick, bend and pick,
hour after hour.
Scratches on their arms
scab and bleed,
their heads ache,
their vision blurs,
their drinking water canisters
contaminated with lethal spray.
At dusk they crawl home.
At dawn, they start another day.


Mrs. Anne Hudson-Berry
selects a cool cotton dress
adorns herself,
hails a taxi
has lunch at the Ritz.


With very best wishes, Patricia

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your poetry always contains magic. Today's poem is stunning. Mx