Monday, March 28, 2011

Words for the taking

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Words for the taking

I had this vain hope
that these words might take you
through the blue sky comfort of your easy days
into a Bunnings of the mind
where new thoughts are for the taking
from the shelves of this existence.
Where we could sort of share
the expansion of our living space
and build a kind of new dimension
in mutual creativity.

But you just waited patiently
like some gifted Goddess
gilded in the solvency
of a total self-sufficiency.
And when my words finally reached
the checkout of your existence
you paused a moment and with a sigh
accepted the proffered card
before wrapping everything up neatly
while asking if I wanted credit.

© Richard Scutter 25 Feb 2011

Bunnings ... a mega hardware store well known in Australia

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Remembering Grace McCracken

Grace McCracken
is my name and
ireland is my nation
new south wales is
my dwelling place
and heaven is my
expectation when
i am dead and in
my grave and all
my bones is rotten
this little Book
will tell my name
when i am forgotten

Grace McCracken

From the Irish Exhibition at the National Museum, Canberra (March 2011), written in a book. Grace McCraken was one of more than half a million Irish to come to Australian in the nineteenth century. I guess she wouldn't have known that her words have been spilled across the universe.

Today is a special day too. Something happened on 23 March 1940, a collision of sorts eventually resulting in the production of this post. A day to be remembered in remembering others.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Hawk in the Rain - Ted Hughes: Analysis

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The Hawk In The Rain - Ted Hughes

A line by line progressive commentary …

Hawk and rain are the two operative words in the title.

I drown in the drumming ploughland, I drag up

I can imagine Ted Hughes walking along the edge of a ploughed field in Yorkshire on a rain filled day. The nature of the rain is clearly stated by the two alliterative words drown and drumming. It is heavy - enough to drown and persistent and dominating as the continual sound of a drum. There is no tin roof around but we don’t know what noise is being made against any clothing Ted might be waring.

There is a pause after I drag up, text, which must flow on to the text of the next line … to be continued … as the rain continues.

Heel after heel from the swallowing of the earth's mouth,

We now have a picture of movement, of difficulty in walking and the earth becomes a mouth swallowing, what it is exactly swallowing is not known at this stage.

From clay that clutches my each step to the ankle
With the habit of the dogged grave, but the hawk

It is now quite clear that the sodden ground is engulfing Ted. The alliterative clutching clay gives personification to the earth. Ted now extends his thoughts to the grave and the ground that will inevitably conquer him. The earth has this habit of taking people, but the hawk … again we have text that must continue, this time to the text of the second stanza.
Effortlessly at height hangs his still eye.
His wings hold all creation in a weightless quiet,

Eye and height define the hawk. In great to contrast to Ted who has been focusing on the ground. The hawk has the entire world below him and moreover it is effortless for him to hover in the adverse conditions.

Steady as a hallucination in the streaming air.
While banging wind kills these stubborn hedges,

We do not know what has drawn Ted to look at the sky but in doing so we sense a degree of envy for the Hawk while the wind destroys below. By choosing hallucination Ted perhaps wonders whether this is real and whether the hawk can resist nature in this way.
Thumbs my eyes, throws my breath, tackles my heart,
And rain hacks my head to the bone, the hawk hangs,

Emphasis is given to what is happening at Ted’s level the wind and the rain taking on the dimension of a murderer, and then reflecting back to the hawk we have to wait after hangs to go to the next line.

The diamond point of will that polestars
The sea drowner's endurance: And I,

The ability of the hawk to withstand the weather is emphasised by taking the diamond shape confronting the wind and that diamonds are used for cutting. Polestars is a wonderful choice of word it gives eye to the sky and the polestar is a guide and safety symbol. It is used as a verb giving action to the scene. The weather is such that anyone caught at sea is likely to have a most unpleasant time. Then returning to Ted’s predicament the stanza ends with another pause.

Bloodily grabbed dazed last-moment-counting
Morsel in the earth's mouth, strain to the master-
Fulcrum of violence where the hawk hangs still.
That maybe in his own time meets the weather

The stanza splits in two again between the hawk and Ted. Ted is about to be devoured akin to the hawk devouring a morsel from the ground. The key word in this stanza is master-fulcrum. Fulcrum - the support, or point of rest, on which a lever turns in moving a body.

In the last line consideration is given to the mortality of the hawk and a question is started with a pause at the end of the stanza.

Coming the wrong way, suffers the air, hurled upside-down,
Fall from his eye, the ponderous shires crash on him,
The horizon trap him; the round angelic eye
Smashed, mix his heart's blood with the mire of the land.

In time the hawk will be caught by nature and meet the same fate and the earth will conquer. The ponderous shires crash on him. This bottom up expression gives strength to the power of the earth to greet the fate of the hawk. Note how this links to the wrong way in the first line.

The angelic eye shows the beauty of the hawk and gives religious tones as of the falling of an angel – even the most perfect of creatures will meet the fate of all – perhaps a cry on the nature of nature from one who had so great an affinity with natural world.

Ted Hughes (from The Hawk in the Rain 1957)
Some questions 
1 ... What is the main nature of nature expressed?

2 ... What could the rain represent?

3 ... What alliterations are most effective?

4 ... Is there a fulcrum to the poem, if so where is it?

5 ... How is the continual contrast between the situation of the hawk and Ted resolved?

6 ... How does the personification of the earth as killer integrate as part of nature?

7 ... Do you think the title The Hawk in the Rain is appropriate?

8 ... What one-sentence-statement would you give as response to your reading of this poem?

... and a recommended link for those interested in The Thought- Fox

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Watch This Space

After Life and Death

Watch This Space 

Life is an interruption
an uncalled for shock

as unexpected as green sky
out of nowhere, an aberration

an explosion in a sea of darkness
diminishing like a firework.

Death is forever patient
always content to play that waiting game

you could say the ultimate backdrop
increasing prominence with age

and when the glass is emptied of the last grain
returns the equilibrium of eternity.

Afterwards, thank God,
we can all breathe a sigh of relief –

and get back to what we were really doing!

© Richard Scutter 9 October 2010

... but in the mean time, and coming back to Earth, I might just have time to place the occassional post.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Out Of The Blue - Home Post and Index

Cranes reaching into the sky ... Cotter Dam Enlargement: Canberra March 2011

About this Blog Site ...

My Selected Poems and Commentary: Mar 2011 to Feb 2013
(free to air, but please recognise the author)

INDEX - Hot Links to Posts in chronological order split into - Selected Poems, Poem Analysis, and Miscellaneous Poetry ....

Selected Poems (from 2010 to 2013)
After life and Death
Words for the taking
A meta metamorphosis
The Fragrance at Flanders
Bin Laden and Silly Syllable
Australia Day 2007
No emergency now
Ant Attack
A Token Life
Public Credentials
Broken Words
Trapped Prayer
Have a Nice Day
Selected Personal Poems - eBook
Arthroscopic Attention
Christmas Day - Haiku
Report Card 2011 - Limerick
Nought By Time Revealed
Post-Op Respite
To be At One with the World
At Our Church
On Just Being
The Queen Marches On
Men Shedding
Chain Gang Gold
We Fun-Runners
Anointing Ann Anonymous

Poem Analysis
The Hawk in the Rain - Ted Hughes
To the Fallen - Laurence Binyon
Advent, 1916 - Eva Dobell
Sonnet 37 - William Shakespeare
Sonnet 73 - William Shakespeare
Mysterious Night - Joseph Blanco White
The Orange Tree - John Shaw Neilson
If everything happens that can't be done - E. E. Cummings
A Hymn to God the Father - John Donne
Mrs Midas - Carol Ann Duffy
Full Moon and Little Frieda - Ted Hughes
The Wattle Tree - Judith Wright
Love Sonnet LXVII - Pablo Neruda
Poppies in October - Sylvia Plath
The Last Night that She Lived - Emily Dickinson
Upon the Lonely Moor - Lewis Carroll
The Journey of the Magi - T. S. Eliot
Analysing Prufrock - T. S. Eliot
The Brook - Tennyson: Analysis
A Shell on Shelley and The Moon
Lest We Forget - Kipling's Recessional
Zero Summer - T. S. Eliot and Little Gidding
Emily Dickinson and Death
Never Too Old - Janne Graham: Analysis
Bell-Birds - Henry Kendall: Analysis
Ode to Melancholy - John Keats
Sylvia Plath - Births, Museums, Statues
Kisses in the train - D H Lawrence
A Song for Simeon - T S Eliot
We Field-Women - Thomas Hardy
The Unspoken - Edwin Morgan
Sylvia Plath and Balloons: Analysis
As I was climbing up the stair - Analysis
The Trains - Judith Wright
Advent Calendar - Rowan Williams
Nativity - James McAuley
Looking at some Longfellow Lines
Exploring Ozymandias - Shelley
A Vision of Sin - A different Tennyson

Miscellaneous Poetry
Remembering Grace McCracken
Some Famous War Poets and Poems
Australian Poetry Ltd - Info.
Canberra's Centenary: '100 Years of Words'
Tribute to Anne Edgeworth
My Love In Her Attire - Anonymous
'The Gods' Dead Poets Dinner 2011 - Readings
National Poetry Week - Jane Baker Book Launch
Talking Tanka with Kathy Kituai
'Edge' - Judith Wright's property at Braidwood
Writing Australia - New Federal Website
Weather Signs - Janne Graham
The Door - To Poetry Perhaps
What is poetry
Creating New Words
The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry
A Visit from St. Nicholas - Henry Livingstone
Creating some words on Creation and Creating
National Year of Reading - 2012
Poets' Corner: Official Opening Canberra
Exhibition of Manuscript Treasures at the National Library
Initiation - Don Nicol
The Song of Mr Toad - Kenneth Grahame
Life - Shockingly Beautiful - Easter Sunday 2012
An A-musing Ogden Nash on Shelley
Meet the 'Gull-a-Bull' Ogden at the Sea-shore
Spike Milligan and Poetry
Best-Selling Poetry in Oz
Bagpipe Music - Louise MacNeice
Dead Poets Dinner Readings - Canberra 24 July
Spring Arousal: Gateway- A D Hope
Hardy and Egdon Heath
Hardy's Cottage at Higher Bockhampton
Hardy's Home - Max Gate - Images
Hardy's Grave at Stinsford Church - Images
Chinese Sayings an introduction
Rosemary Dobson - Poetry Continues
Chinese Symbolism
Behind common words and nursery rhymes
Yass Valley Writers Anthology - Book Launch
Christmas and the Virgin Birth
Why be interested in poetry
Poetry and the brain
'The Invisible Tread' - Canberra Centenary Anthology
Christchurch Earthquake - A Public Poem
Pronunciation - Some Problem Words

Selected Poems and Commentary from March 2013 continues using WordPress

Books ...

Selected Personal Poems - Hard Cover, 77 pages, illustrated - Home Published, December 2010
ISBN 978 064 654 500 Limited Edition ... Selected Personal Poems - eBook Available

Other Internet Sites ...

Collected Poems: 2001 - 2009

(A Poetry Diary (Personal Poetry Posts): June 2008 to December 2009 ...  only available on request)