Poetry, Pam Ayres, 50 Shades and Banana The Poet

I don’t talk about Poetry enough.

It’s a wonderful form of writing and is the one that most people experiment with as teenagers. I’m certain that everyone reading this has tried to create a rhyme or two… and I’m pretty certain that most of those people have come across their poetry years later, read it, cringed and thrown it out.

I’ve written enough poetry to know I’m not serious about writing it – I’m a Noet (NOt-a serious-poET) and proud of it. I use Noetry to write my children’s books and that is about it. I have got a few more than that and one day I might let them see the light of day… however, not yet – I don’t think the world is ready for that…

Anyway. I know enough about poetry to know when I like a Poet. I like Pam Ayres and have done ever since my Dad let me read a couple of her books.  Here’s one of my favourites of hers from when I was little:

Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth

by Pam Ayres

Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth,
And spotted the dangers beneath
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food.
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

I wish I’d been that much more willin’
When I had more tooth there than fillin’
To give up gobstoppers,
From respect to me choppers,
And to buy something else with me shillin’.

When I think of the lollies I licked
And the liquorice allsorts I picked,
Sherbet dabs, big and little,
All that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.

My mother, she told me no end,
‘If you got a tooth, you got a friend.’
I was young then, and careless,
My toothbrush was hairless,
I never had much time to spend.

Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin’
And pokin’ and fussin’
Didn’t seem worth the time – I could bite!

If I’d known I was paving the way
To cavities, caps and decay,
The murder of fillin’s,
Injections and drillin’s,
I’d have thrown all me sherbet away.

So I lie in the old dentist’s chair,
And I gaze up his nose in despair,
And his drill it do whine
In these molars of mine.
‘Two amalgam,’ he’ll say, ‘for in there.’

How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

Taken from the The Works: The Classic Collection 2008. 

And borrowed from http://www.pamayres.com

I also like Shakespeare, T.S. Elliot, A.A. Milne and Lord Byron…

She Walks in Beauty

by Lord Byron

SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies
And all that ‘s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

I also know a fair few Poets from the writing websites I have been on.  Some of them are sticklers for form and metre, others are more relaxed.

My absolute favourite thus far, is Michele Brenton, a.k.a. Banana the Poet. She has three blogs. One is a Funny Poetry Blog, the second is a Serious Poetry Blog,  and the third is her ‘normal’ blog – where she talks about anything and everything.

Now, to step aside from my current line of thought for a moment (stay with me, it is relevant) I suppose that you might have heard of  “50 Shades of Grey” and the other two books in the trilogy.

These books have spawned a whole slew of copycats, tail riders, spoofs and parodies, all hoping to get just a little of this success that E. L. James has garnered. She worked very hard to get it, and despite my reservations about the books and the origin of them, I have to say, she has done what the majority of writers want to do – sell enough books to make a decent amount of money from them. So well done to her.

Michele also created a parody of  50SoG. However, her parody was so incredibly original and well written that it has knocked Roger McGough’s latest book off the top spot in the Poetry Top 100 Paid Bestsellers list!

I read the three poems in the book recently and I spent the entire time laughing. I’m warning you, do not read this book with anything in your mouth, liquid or otherwise, because more than likely it will end up splattered all over the screen of whatever you are using to read the e-book!

Combining Roger McGough’s storytelling ability, Pam Ayres’ naughtiness and Victoria Wood’s pith, Fifty Shades of Blue is the best of her work yet!

But don’t just take my word for it, here’s a sampler of the reviews she’s garnered thus far:

“THIS needs to be at the top of all the best-seller lists! (And not just the poetry ones)

I’ll admit it now that I’m not the world’s biggest poetry lover. But, thanks to Michele’s fantastic sense of humour and fabulous way with words, I’m finding myself devouring it in ever greater portions.

Fifty Shades of Blue is probably the greatest parody that the Fifty Shades series is going to see. Brilliantly funny, you’ll be crying with laughter before you’ve even turned the first page. Michele’s acute awareness of current pop culture has spawned a piece which is going to live on a lot longer than any of us can imagine. You NEED to read this whether you loathe the Fifty Shades series or think it’s the best thing since sliced bread.” - Rae Gee, Amazon.co.uk

* * *

“I’ve sampled several parodies of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, and nearly all come off as pastiches riding the inexplicably successful coat-tails of this bestseller.

And then there’s “Fifty Shades of Blue” – a true feat of literary and poetic parody. Written by the accomplished Michele Brenton, whose original work is reminiscent of Hillaire Belloc, she manages, in this equivalent of a Kindle single, to unleash a flurry of arrows in E.L. James’ direction that would make Katniss of “The Hunger Games” slack-jawed with envy. The humor is raw, and the aim is true.

Whether you love “Fifty Shades” or not, this parody will have you laughing out loud… and serves as a fabulous and affordable introduction to Brenton’s other, highly-recommended, poetry books.”- Semaphore, Amazon.com

* * *

“First, let me admit that I really don’t care much for poetry. In fact, it’s a little embarrassing whenever someone asks me what I think of their poem – because the answer is always the same, “I don’t really understand poetry” (which seems preferable to outright lying! HaHa)

That said, Michele’s new book, “Fifty Shades of Blue”, is the first book of poetry I can honestly say I love! It’s hysterically funny – without trying to be! Unlike a lot of poetry, you won’t need a dictionary to appreciate this book. Her poetry has a grounded, earthy feel.. real life in prose. Real poetry for real people!” – SM “sm-1″ Amazon.com

So go on, treat yourself to a spot of poetry that will exercise the imagination and your diaphragm without breaking the bank!

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