The conversational bully
Cares not a jot
For your humble opinion
(which frankly is rot)
He listens only, for half a pause
A point of entry
To further his cause
He raises his voice
A wall you can’t climb
breaking your thought chain
(It’s not worth a dime)
The question of course
is does he win?
hard to tell when dialogue
The above poem is the fruit of yesterday’s post about the importance or reading in order to write. I picked up my copy of “The Virago Book of Wicked Verse” which is an absolute delight. Below are 2 poems which I particularly enjoyed, as you can see there is not much similarlity between what I read and what I wrote, yet they inspired me. They do have a similar tone and lack flowery images. I had been thinking about conversational bullies and had it in mind to write a post of a few hundred words on the subject including the question of how one deals with such people. The value of poetry is that it strips an idea to the bare bones and when you get it right manage to say more with fewer words.
WHY DOROTHY WORDSWORTH IS NOT AS FAMOUS AS HER BROTHER – Lynn Peters
“I wandered lonely as a…
They’re in the top drawer, William,
Under your socks –
I wandered lonely as a –
No not that drawer, the top one.
I wandered by myself –
Well wear the ones you can find.
No, don’t get overwrought my dear, I’m coming.
“I wandered lonely as a –
Lonely as a cloud when –
Soft-boiled egg, yes my dear,
As usual, three minutes –
As a cloud which floats –
Look, I said I’ll cook it,
Just hold on will you –
All right, I’m coming.
“One day I was out for a walk
When I saw this flock –
It can’t be too hard, it had three minutes.
Well put some butter in it. –
This host of golden daffodils
As I was out for a stroll one –
“Oh you fancy a stroll, do you?
Yes all right, William, I’m coming.
It’s on the peg. Under your hat.
I’ll bring my pad, shall I, in case
You want to jot something down?”
Song of Perfect Propriety – Dorothy Parker
Oh, I should like to ride the seas,
A roaring buccaneer;
A cutlass banging at my knees,
A dirk behind my ear.
And when my captives’ chains would clank
I’d howl with glee and drink,
And then fling out the quivering plank
And watch the beggars sink.
I’d like to straddle gory decks,
And dig in laden sands,
And know the feel of throbbing necks
Between my knotted hands.
Oh, I should like to strut and curse
Among my blackguard crew….
But I am writing little verse,
As little ladies do.
Oh, I should like to dance and laugh
And pose and preen and sway,
And rip the hearts of men in half,
And toss the bits away.
I’d like to view the reeling years
Through unastonished eyes,
And dip my finger-tips in tears,
And give my smiles for sighs.
I’d stroll beyond the ancient bounds,
And tap at fastened gates,
And hear the prettiest of sound-
The clink of shattered fates.
My slaves I’d like to bind with thongs
That cut and burn and chill….
But I am writing little songs,
As little ladies will.