David Green

David Green (Books) is the imprint under which I publish booklets of my own poems, when there are sufficient of them. Apart from that, the website has become what it is. I hope you find at least some of it worthwhile.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Observer reports poetry boom

Sunday's Observer reported a new 'poetry boom', a renaissance in the art marked by sell-out festivals, soaring sales and all kinds of mayhem and mania going on.
It is a story that is recycled every few years, usually coinciding with no new discovery about Shakespeare or other satisfyingly esoteric news to fill half a page with. If there's been no recent sighting of a beast on Bodmin Moor, nobody building a moon rocket in a garden shed or no teenage school student eloping with a teacher, then it must be time to wheel out the one about a new fashion for poetry.
It happened in the sixties with Adrian Mitchell, Ban the Bomb and the Liverpool Poets deciding that the likes of Edmund Spenser were too boring for them, and it's happened regularly since. The estimable John Cooper-Clarke could be forgiven if he has tired of being cited as in the vanguard but he probably won't if it keeps him in work.
What it means, of course, is performance poetry and this time it's Kate Tempest downgrading the art to an accessible level that abhors such deliberate difficulty as that espoused by Geoffrey Hill. It doesn't mean that suddenly, rather than pilates or model railways, some of non-campus lower middle class have taken to composing gently ironic sestinas or crafting syllabic sonnets to soothe away the anxieties of our difficult times. Would that it were, Mr. Ponsonby, would that it were.
So let's not be too alarmed. The disparate network of fuzzily overlapping societies, groups, magazines and readings is probably not going to be over-run by hordes of ranting doggerel-mongers full of pent-up anger and righteousness. They have always come and gone. Neither is it likely that any of our more eminent names, like Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage or Andrew Motion, those three successive Poet Laureates in no particular order, are suddenly to become the sort of national figure that Tennyson was and we should all be grateful for that, including them.
No, it was no more than another recondite piece of journalism swindling readers of their time and money by providing them with some words to read on a Sunday. It is unlikely to cause any more waves than a few cosmopolitan types looking up from their coffee and thinking, wow, poetry, how marvellous.        

Thursday, 23 March 2017

This Week's TLS Crossword Solution

And now I feel more smartarse than ever.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Portsmouth Acrostic

The offices where I do the day job are being refurbished and a part of that process is a competition for artwork, including photography and poems, from those that attend there to adorn the walls.
I hadn't even noticed that, up to now, there is no such aesthetic feature in the whole building, only the dreariest of corporate messages and information.
Thus I thought I ought to contribute something to this well-intentioned initiative even though I reckon pictures are more suitable than words in the circumstances. Work submitted has to be on prescribed themes or of local interest. I'll be disappointed if my effort is judged not good enough but I'll understand if its themes of existential angst are not considered what they were looking for.

Perhaps it was my fate to be brought here
Or a sequence of chances that lined up,
Returning me back time and time again
To where I was at home as refugee.
So, thirty-five years later, here I am,
Made native by belonging nowhere else,
Otherwise still a stranger to myself
Under the Guildhall clock or by the shore
The gunboats would depart from into mist,
History theirs to make, ours to pass by.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Question Time

Question Time

One day, when they have sorted it all out,
they’ll sit and chat and offer biscuits round
and wonder why it took so long to reach
this state of perfect equilibrium.
The billionaire magnate will not listen
to protests as he insists on paying
his workforce over and above their needs
plus a Christmas bonus and weekends off.

The union leader who waves it away,
elegantly complacent, with no trace
of rancour or working class accent, says
if there’s ever a need for his members
to do overtime then they’ll gladly come
and do it for nothing because they know
their pensions will provide generously
for their old age. And they both nod and smile.

The fiery feminist lets the lewd old
comedian who’s on as the token
celeb call her ‘love’ without the slightest
rebuke because it no longer matters
now that not even golf clubs recognize
any gender bias, although most women,
it must be said, have better things to do
than golf.  So, what is the next question, please,

yes, over there, the man in the blue shirt.
Which is the best of Mozart’s symphonies?
Then, what’s your favourite flavour of ice-cream?
Which animal would you be if you could?
Should T. Rex, Mud and Abba be set texts?
Would it be better if cartoons were real
and dogs could talk and tell us what they think?
Should Question Time be more like this or not.