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Tony Grist

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At Sea [Sep. 18th, 2018|10:11 am]
Tony Grist
The wind in the trees sounds like a rough sea....

That's a fairly banal observation and most people with any imagination will have made the connection between the two sounds at some time or another- but when Ted Hughes in an early poem observed "This house has been far out at sea all night" he turned it into something magical. Don't ask me how it's done. Nobody knows. The words may come by themselves or they may have to be worked for but any fool can recognise when the magic's there and when it isn't. Great poets are Prosperos and can command it- but even they can't tell you exactly what it is they're commanding- and they know that there are times when they call on the spirits and the spirits refuse to come.

[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2018-09-18 10:41 am (UTC)
I do find such poetic art often miraculous
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-09-18 11:13 am (UTC)
It is.
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[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2018-09-18 12:05 pm (UTC)
My personal definition of poetry goes something like: words working very hard and doing several things at once whilst also making it seem effortless. The quote about the house being far out at sea is just what I mean. It packs so much meaning into a simple-seeming phrase.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-09-18 12:38 pm (UTC)
Generally speaking, Ted Hughes is too strenuous for me. He works hard and lets the effort show, but the line I quoted is perfect.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2018-09-18 04:19 pm (UTC)
The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas

etc etc Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman -- a poem I loved when I was 14
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-09-18 05:23 pm (UTC)
I loved that one too. Kids love poems that tell stories.
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