Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The dishonesty of literature


Poets are not famous for writing what's actually in their heads. The chief function of poetry being for bespectacled geeks to get off with girls, they write what they think people want to hear. Take Yeats, for instance, who famously wrote:

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

One knows in one's heart that the reality would be, rather:

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would sell them to a market trader of dubious repute
Spend all the money on beer and then
Lie down to recover under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my head.

3 comments:

Scarlet Blue said...

Ha! I think you have a point. I wrote this poem out in calligraphy a few months back, but in future I will write your version, with your permission?
Sx

Gyppo Byard said...

Be my guest.

Scarlet Blue said...

Thank you!
Sx