CATS upon the stage

cats the musical
The return of Cats to the West End stage has revived the old argument: Was T S Eliot a genius or a twat. This article may help you decide

On the back of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s successful revival of cats there was an article in The Daily Telegraph over the weekend about the poetry of T S Eliot. here’s a taste:

Fifty years after TS Eliot’s death, the beauty of his verse shows how poetry can be appreciated before it is understood, by Allan Massie

The record-breaking musical Cats is singing and dancing again. The run of the new production has been extended – and there are plans to take it to France, Germany and Broadway. Yet when it was launched in 1981, even the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber wondered if he were out of his mind. A musical with no plot and the cast dressed as prancing felines, the lyrics drawn from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, light verses written by the otherwise famously difficult poet, TS Eliot – what could possibly go right?

Of course everything did, gloriously. It ran and ran and ran, and it still works today. [ …] I find myself thinking I would have liked to have had some such explanatory aid available when I first read The Waste Land 60 years ago. That was more than 30 years after its first publication, and yet it still seemed strange and baffling. I understood very little of it and was puzzled by its abrupt transitions. Yet, on reflection, I am not so sure that my perplexity was such a bad thing. It meant I had to surrender to the poem.

The comment thread followed the usual pattern of any discussion on the works of Eliot and that other literary wanker James Joyce, both of whom admitted that they wrote with the intention of being understood by literary or classical academics.

The sheeple who will believe anything sombody who waves an academic qualification around tells them to believe came down in support of the dogma that Eliot was the genius who dragged poetry into the modern age.

The other camp consisted of those who love poetry and read it regularlyand generally thought Eliot a pretentious, condescending elitist snob and an all – round twunt. Here’s my favourite:

figurewizard

When I was at school Eliot’s Wasteland was part of our A level English studies. Many questions were put to our English master on it, one of which has stayed with me when one of my classmates asked; “Instead of writing this, why didn’t this guy just top himself”?

One reference that came up several times was to John Carey’s book “The Intellectuals And The Masses” which is an exposé of the new elitism of the academic class.

Here’s one comment that recommends it:
doctordyper

Eliot’s poetry is quite deliberately obscure; the dense allusions to, and quotations from, other literature are designed to encode into it levels of meaning that make it inaccessible to all but the most highly-educated. This was a reaction to the rise of mass-literacy common to many modernist writers; they actively wanted to preserve literature as the preserve of a small elite. I highly recommend John Carey’s book, ” The Intellectuals and the Masses” – it’s quite extraordinary. None of this makes The Waste Land and Prufrock any less masterpieces – but in context, they are the last-ditch fight by the literary set against paperbacks and the sort of people who think Kipling’s “If” is a great poem.

Australia’s Answer To McGonagall Published World’s Worst Poem

A poem written by Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart has been declared the worst ever written by critics who have obviously not spent much time on internet poetry sites.

Ms Rinehart, who inherited her father’s mining interests, wrote the poem in protest at bureaucracy and politically correct policies. The poem’s subject matter is likely to have done little to persuade arty farty literary critics of it’s merit.

One even went so far as to say: “She won’t make as much money out of poetry, that’s for sure.” He’s right but then neither did Shakespeare, Milton, Tennyson or Dylan Thomas within their lifetimes.

We should remember before dismissing Gina the poet that one of the most widely read versifiers in the English language over the past 20 years has been William Topaz McGonagall whose verse lacked syntax, grammar, rhythm, style, metaphor or anything else might identify a string of words as poetry. All that plus the oddball choices of subject matter makes McGonagall wonderfully funny to a modern reader.

When Gina Rinehart was asked if she would agree her work was a worthles doggerel Ms Rinehart replied: “Don’t be stupid yer drongo, I’ve never owned a dog.

Our Future

The globe is sadly groaning with debt, poverty and strife

And billions now are pleading to enjoy a better life

Their hope lies with resources buried deep within the earth

And the enterprise and capital which give each project worth

Is our future threatened with massive debts run up by political hacks

Who dig themselves out by unleashing rampant tax

The end result is sending Australian investment, growth and jobs offshore

This type of direction is harmful to our core

Some envious unthinking people have been conned

To think prosperity is created by waving a magic wand

Through such unfortunate ignorance, too much abuse is hurled

Against miners, workers and related industries who strive to build the world

Develop North Australia, embrace multiculturalism and welcome short term foreign workers to our shores

To benefit from the export of our minerals and ores

The world’s poor need our resources: do not leave them to their fate

Our nation needs special economic zones and wiser government, before it is too late

Editor’s note: As someone who has scribbled a verse or two myself I have to say I love the rhyming of “political hacks” with “rampant tax.” Genius. McGonagall would have been envious.

RELATED POSTS:
The Weirdo Factor
My own tribute to McGonagall in the style of the great man
Where Were You

The Bonnie Banks O’ Scotland Can Be Found Elsewhere

Not so much having a break today as a change of scenery. I have stated before that one of my favourite poets is William Topaz McGonagall, reputedly the worst poet ever published in the English language.

McGonagall had not appreciation of rhytm or meter, no understanding of metaphor and little feeling for language. But he loved poetry and he loved Scotland. So as the financial crisis juggernaut rumbles on it was a good time to open up my little used comic verse blog and post:

The Bonnie Bonny Banks O’ Scotland in the style of William McGonagall.

Enjoy.

Alien In My Blog

How come I got so many comments from people pushing payday loans yesterday do you think? Do they know something we don’t?

There werre over a hundred on posts from new to very very old.

Either we are more influential than we ever thought or the run on the pound is set to continue so they are trying to tell you to get an advance on pay now ans stock up on beans and tinned soup because next month you will not be able to buy a weeks shopping with your month’s pay.

Not much today, I have been busy getting my audio stuff online. Two amusing titles are:

Alien In My Bed (direct link to audio Alien96)

Suzanna’s Tits (direct link to audio Suzanna96)

Boggart Blogger To Be New Poet Laureate?

BOGGART BLOG’S CHIEF ECTOPLASMIC OFFICER Jenny Greenteeth has a message for all readers.

Hello fans, this am your favourite creature of the Netherworld Jenny. I don’t know how many of you knew this but our regular editor Ian has been a published poet since yonks ago and secretly he has always fancied the job of poet laureate. Over the years he has written many poems commemorating Royal occasions so he is well qualified to do the business.

Here are a few of his Royal poems, we hope you will recognise their quality, see he is the only person who could do justice to the job and write to the arts council, The Queen and everybody telling them so.

IAN’S ROYAL POEMS
On The Investiture of The Prince Of Wales

The firstborn of the Royal males
is destined to be Prince Of Wales
At the place appointed
He will be anointed
To the sound of tumultuous cheers
As a Welsh chior sing “Iachyd Da Jug Ears.”

On The Marriage Of Princess Anne

A posh bird got married
to an upper class twat.
So what?

A Tribute To The Queen Mother

The Dear Old Queen Mum, people say
smoked forty full strength ciggies a day
and drank gin and dubonnet
but was never known to pay … for a round.

On The Marriage Of Prince Charles

The bride wore white
on the weddiung night
and hoped her husband wouls thill her.
But Charles was busy elsewhere,
He was boffing Camilla.

A Poem For The Queen’s Golden Jubilee

Her rank was ordained by God,
She eats caviar not battered cod,
her gracious charm begulies,
she does not suffer from “Farmer Giles”
nor does she burp we suppose
or get bogies stuck up her nose.
The whole nation should celebrate her
but Guardian readers still d not rate her.

On The Birth Of Prince Harry

The new born Prince
made us all cringe
“Oh my God” we cried,
Look! a ginge.

Wendy Cope suggests the post of Poet Laureat should be abolished

More humour every day from Boggart Blog
The problem with a lot of modern poetry is it’s so introspective. What happened to the poetry of political satire or social comments. Poems like W.A.N.K (We are not kulpable) for example.

Schismism

The process is under way to select a new poet laurate to replace the retiring Andrew Motion. One of the names in the frame is Wendy Cope though the very popular Wendy has said she is not interested. My name as not been out forward so far.

As The Church of England blunders towards a Schism here is one of the reasons why I’m not being pushed as poet laureate.

In America there are so many religious dominations that schisms are ten – a – penny. In Europe however people tend to stick with the four main congregations, Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox and Anglican. Thus a schism only comes along once every few generations. Therefore the current split over the ordination of gay men and women in the Anglican Church is something to treasure. People living through it are never likely to see another schism in their lifetime. This piece of whimsical wordsmithery commemorates in rhyme the Schism of 2008.

There is bound to be a schism
whenever fundamentalism
confronts progressive thinking in the church.
The problem with Theism
when it passes through the prism
of reason is it splits, distorts the object of the search.

When first the gentle Arians
found their views at variance
with the more aggressive Church of Rome
bones were broken blood was shed.
They did not pray but fought instead,
for the right to claim the Christian message as their own.

A child conceived from Divine Jizzum
by a Virgin? Tritheism?
That issue split split Orthodox from Catholic creed.
The centuries later Lutherism
questioned if the Christ was risen
or should communicants eat unleavened bread.

The Protestant condemnation
of transubstantiation
led Neitsche to conclude that God was dead
but the Evanelical revival
gave the established church a rival.
Through internicine conflict faith was saved.

Now the Anglican communion
falls into disunion.
The split? Can gays and women serve The Lord?
And they’re about to have a schism,
it’s a Christian tradition.
Lust for power screams out louder than the word.

More humour every day from Boggart Blog

Don’t kill the muse

St. Paddy’s Day (Limericks with an Irish Flavour)

Limerick Limerick
(It’s said the Limerick for originated when someone declared it was impossible to rhyme the word Limerick)
Paddy said “Now here’s a trick,
I’ll set out on a trip from Limerick,
travel northwards to Lerwick,
returning via Berwick.
Now who said the Irish are thick?

No Benediction

Father Murphy was saying High Mass,
When a flea bit the priest on his ass,
“Oh feck,” he exclaimed
(though recently ordained)
and forgot Benediction alas.

Leprechauns

Though Leprechauns are seldom seen
we all know their hair is bright green.
They eat Irish Stew,
Drink too much mountain dew
and their language becomes quite obscene.

The Black Stuff And Better

There’s little an Irishman won’t do
for a pint of The Black Stuff or two
but on St. Paddy’s night
its their special delight
to sup poteen, a more potent brew.

The Lord of Bute

The Lord of the Island of Bute
thought excessive drinking a hoot,
he drank gallons of stout
(even though he had gout)
then threw up all over his suit.

Sex and the Sidhe
Caer Sidhe (pron. shee) is the overworld of Irish legend

The folk who dwell in Sidhe
are known for their bonhomie.
when they’ve had enough
of the rare owld stuff
They will bonk total strangers with glee.

W.A.N.K (We Are Not Culpable)

As those nice people have given me lots more blogs I thought I would try a piece of comic verse to see how it goes. If you like it I might invite some friends to join me in an occasional blog.

W.A.N.K
(it stands of We Are Not Kulpable)
(believe that and you’ll believe anything)

Davros the Dalek leader
Had evolved to a very high plane
With no arms legs or hips
And no diddly bits
Nothing at all just a brain
It made him quite misanthropic
And totally deficient in mirth
But if he could only have managed a wank
Would he need to conquer the Earth

The evil villain in Star Wars
Was a slug called Jabba the Hutt
His body was chubby
But his arms were quite stubby
And could not reach past his gut.
The Hutt was a criminal genius
At swindling the galactic bank
But would he have turned out so nasty
If he could have had the odd wank

Vader, warlord of the Dark Side
Was half man and half machine.
If some electronic bodger
Hadn’t messed up his todger
Would he have become quite so mean?
If only he could have indulged in
The occasional five fingered shuffle
That might have quelled pent up aggression
And so kept Darth out of trouble.

Do you begin to discern a pattern
That seems to stand out quite plain
To avoid feeling funky
Stay home, slap the monkey
Sexual frustration’s a bane
It is true that the leading religions
All declare masturbation a sin
But we do no harm to our fellows
And will all go to hell with a grin

Whereas all the religious nutters
Bush, Blair, Osama, Saddam
And the other fanatics
Who applaud their tactics
Really do not give a damn.
Mullahs, evangelists, ayatollahs
Can love neither human nor beast.
The righteous may rant but bashing your bishop
Will strike a blow for world peace.

Star Wars

Find out which star wars character you most resemble