You did not go gentle through your life,
knocked hard for flesh to let you enter,
soul-shaken by your mother and your wife,
thistledown-free and unafraid of winter.
You, self-confessed gusty man and a half,
languished in whisky and bitter-sweet ale,
like the Dewi singing, ready with a laugh
and a rhyme like a spouting whale.
What of your notorious love of Caitlin?
In the owl-light of the halfway-house,
stormy, rebellious, she was always waiting,
your jealously protective spouse.
And what of Rosie Probert and Captain Cat,
shipwrecked on the bible-black dreams
of starless Llareggub, with its crowblack
fishingboat-bobbing, dab-filled sea?
The end came thousands of miles from home,
stewed in alcohol and steamed by fog,
your life summed up in stories and poems:
a portrait of the artist as an older dog.
Kim M. Russell, 18th May 2021
Image found on Pinterest
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Poems to a Poet
Laura is back to host poetics and she begins with a well-known quote from T.S. Eliot, reminding us that poets come from a long lineage.
Laura refers to a chapter in Ted Hughes’ essay ‘Poetry in the Making’, which says, “when we want to convey an …impression, we let one or two details suggest the whole”. Laura also shares poems by well-known poets about other writers: Gwendolyn Brooks’ ‘Of Robert Frost’; Elizabeth Jennings’ ‘Meditation on D. H. Lawrence” and ‘For Edward Thomas’.
For today’s Poetics prompt, Laura would like us to select one of our favourite poets (a celebrated or a lesser known one) and write a poem either about them in the indirect voice, or addressing them in the direct voice, as in Jennings’ poem ‘For Edward Thomas’. The title must include the poet’s name, we must try to employ the poet’s recognisable style (in the form of an ode if we choose the direct voice), but there are no other rules for meter or poetry form.
14th May was not only my husband’s birthday, it was also the seventh annual celebration of International Dylan Thomas Day.