Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Lines From An Art Gallery In October Half Term

So I thought it was about time I tried a Sestina. This was supposed to be about lazy parents, but such is Formal Poetry...

The children never seem to see the Art.
Instead, they gravitate towards the screens
Like bees to flowers; pausing briefly by
The nudes, they giggle at each naked breast,
Then back to telly, that familiar friend,
Companion through their daily, waking life.

Presumably, not told there’s more to life –
That music, sculpture, poetry, and art,
Enrich existence like the warmth of friends,
Much more than cold and sterile TV screens,
That leave a chill inside each budding breast,
That kill young curiosity just by

Their very presence. Words and worlds slip by
Unnoticed: Advertising screaming “Life
Is Short! You must go buy yourself new breasts!
No time to stand admiring wanky art!
Instead, see our new range of plasma screens –
They’ll make you happier than all your friends!

“In fact, you’ll never need another friend –
Just go and get this DVD that’s by
That lovely Jordan, star of stage and screen,
A wonderful example for your life:
She “Dint no nuffin’ ‘bout no fackin’ art!”
And, on that subject: trust us on the breasts.

“And gentlemen, since we are talking breasts,
Look! Here’s a busty woman – tell your friends!
This isn’t using sex to sell, it’s art!
You, too, can have this woman, simply by
Just purchasing this car! So get a life!
(And please remember: always watch the screen).”

Because they’re everywhere now, aren’t they, screens?
Just making sure you’re always kept abreast
Of all the latest offers – as if life
Were better knowing that some actor “friend”
Says anything – if there is cash put by,
And, in the process, turns his back on Art.

If you live life beset by blaring screens,
If Art and Commerce battle in your breast,
A friendly tip: just switch off, don’t stand by.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic stuff! It's such a difficult form to use, but this is excellent. I always think that the best Sestinas are those in which the repetition is not immediately obvious, because it's been so skilfully crafted into the meaning of the poem. That was certainly the case here. Now, being the copy-cat that I am, I may have to embark on my own Sestina.