sporting blues

The first time I posted the poem 21st-century pugilist to the blog, I didn’t really have the right picture, so it was accompanied by a photo of the wrestler, Stan Roberts.

Now, though, I have a photo of the statue of Randolph Turpin, the boxer, so I think it’s a good time to re-post the poem, which was written in Spain around eight years ago:
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clichés and coincidences

Novice poets are frequently warned about clichés; sometimes, though, it’s hard to know exactly what the people doing the warning have in mind. Is a cliché the same as an idiom? Is it just a common collocation of words? Can a single word be a cliché?

(In answer to that last question, I’ve posted several times in the past on the subject of “forbidden words” in poetry.)

The thing about clichés is that they mean the writer hasn’t done more than scratch the surface. And for poetry that matters a lot more than for some other types of writing.
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getting down to work

Wondering what to write to accompany yet another photograph of flowers, I searched through the blog for the word “rose”. The search also picked up words where “rose” is a substring – rosemary, primrose, arose and prose.

By chance, then, I came upon a post from 2012 called poetry, prose and politics, which contains the quotation from Mario Cuomo, former governor of the state of New York:

you campaign in poetry but you govern in prose.

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wings and things

I’ve said before that I’m not fond of birds, but they are a recurring theme of my poetry. I don’t, however, have many photos of birds as they so seldom stay still long enough to capture on film. (Hmm… I don’t suppose we capture anything on film anymore if we use digital cameras, so maybe that phrase must be considered an inelegant variation.)

I do a little better with photos of bugs and insects as they often seem less bothered by the approach of a camera lens and will sometimes sit still for hours on the same flower head.
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summery

There’s a big difference between the weather summary and summery weather, but today they seem to coincide, with quite a bit of sunshine expected and temperatures predicted to reach nearly 20º.

Hourly weather forecastThis isn’t at all the sort of weather I was used to when I lived in Spain, where summer was a dull aching red that lasted from March through to October: here in England, even the hottest days start off blue and fresh and daisy clean.
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kiss-me-quick

When I first posted the photo above last autumn, I simply called it “pink flowers” as I didn’t know what the plant was.

Today, though, I put some in a vase for my mother along with foxgloves and other flowers from her garden and she told me it was red valerian or kiss-me-quick.
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multicultural

When I was a child, one of the household chores that fell to me was cleaning the silver and brass.

Back then, we had horse brasses hung round the fireplace, candlesticks, a brass bugle, assorted epns cutlery, a silver rose-bowl, a self-pouring (pump action) teapot and a couple of bon bon dishes.
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