Friday, May 15, 2009

Poetry Friday: Letter to Alex Comfort

For today's installment of Poetry Friday (look at me, talking about it like it's something I do every week!), the poem I took this blog's title from: "Letter to Alex Comfort," by Welsh poet Dannie Abse.
That Greek one, then, is my hero who watched the bath water
Rise above his navel, and rushed out naked, 'I found it,
I found it' into the street in all his shining and forgot
That others would only stare at his genitals.
What laughter!
The full text of the poem, alas, doesn't seem to be online, although Human Genome includes another section on one of its pages:
But nothing rises. Neither spectres, nor oil, nor love.
And the old professor must think you mad, Alex, as you rehearse
poems in the laboratory like vows, and curse those clever scientists
who dissect away the wings and haggard heart from the dove.
In fact, I've never read the full poem. I discovered it on the first page of my copy of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations ages ago.

The Alex Comfort of the title is, in fact, the one who wrote The Joy of Sex. It's either slightly inappropriate or rather apt as a source for the title of a YA-lit-focused blog.

Comfort was a doctor-poet like Abse, and one of his mentors - that courtesy of a really well-written profile the Guardian ran in 2003.

Visit Kelly Polark for the rest of Poetry Friday.


Kelly said...

Welcome to Poetry Friday!!
Now that is one interesting excerpt from a poem! ;)

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