Poetic Opacity

Poetic Opacity

 

Quote:

‘Opacity is an intrinsic characteristic of some poetry.
It simultaneously enables and complicates reception’
‘As much as we might have enjoyed reading (and writing) poetry when we were children, in school we are taught that poetry is inherently “difficult,” and that by its very nature it somehow makes meaning by hiding meaning.’    Matthew Zapruder (2017)

I wonder if a poem can only be a poem if it’s meaning is opaque?
Anything which is more straightforward is something of a fake
I don’t wish this comment to appear anti-intellectual
Perhaps my simple verses are really somewhat ineffectual

The use of English language, plain,  uncomplicated
Where each word and line of every verse is quite clearly stated
With a minimal use of tropes, metaphor or simile
Helps to convey the meaning with very little difficulty

But lack of figurative language, leaving all things quite literal
Ignores deep emotions, which ‘true’ poetry renders visceral
Thus the absence of oxymoron, hyperbole and allusion
For which bland literalism is no good substitution

But some might claim this is simply all far too transparent
Demands nothing of the reader to plumb its depths inherent
A true poem should stretch the questing mind
To open the eyes which otherwise stay blind

So poems where at first the meaning seems opaque
Where we must wrestle hard thus the hidden code to break
When we are challenged by obscure ideas and expressions
In the end the aesthetic reward is seemingly more precious

I suppose I do not wish to argue the validity of the case
In favour of poetic opacity, which doggerel might debase
But simple words conveying ideas quite transparent
I am still convinced might your close attention warrant

Ken Fisher

 

See also: In Praise of Poetry    Anatomy of Poetry

Clearing Out

Clearing Out

Every now and again it is time for a purge
To get rid of the clutter that bogs us down
Eventually we cannot resist the strong urge
To remove all the debris that threatens to drown

It may be prompted by the start of a year
Or the realization we are so tight for space
The reason for action is not always clear
But some of our old stuff we have to displace

That we have gathered so much is hard to accept
Some we have been given and others we bought
Whatever the source we don’t like to reject
Thus the choice for removal becomes really fraught

Many items have become like familiar old friends
Others whose use we have still to discover
The retention of some things is hard to defend
Their secret charms we have not yet uncovered

But action is needed we can no longer delay
We must remain firm in our stated intention
To shift unwanted objects the task of the day
So it’s off to the skip with no hesitation

Yet when the clear-out has been executed
And you have resorted to radical measures
All accumulated junk has been duly looted
You cast a wistful tear for departed ‘treasures’

Ken Fisher

Password Perplexity

Password Perplexity

Most of us are aware of the daily frustration
Which often leads to exasperation
When our computers refuse to allow us access
Unless the entry codes we clearly possess

However hard you try to breach the protection
False numbers will always result in rejection
You must know the password and username
Or you wont get past that very first frame

So it seems incumbent on all computer users
To ensure they’re prepared for such maneuvers
By retaining their passwords in some secure cache
And thus seek to avoid an access impasse

If you’ve forgotten the data and just try to wing it
You will be trying to get past the system’s pickets
After several attempts to breach the defences
They will consider you have committed offences

Thus your computer system may well shut down
And it is you who might suffer a complete meltdown
So it is better to take a more measured approach
Let’s you keep using other apps while maintaining hope

So that in due time you might find the right combination
To lift the cause of data deprivation
Get the passwords reset, identity renewed
Bringing an end to this digital feud

Of course we are reminded of the everyday fact
That our machines are in danger of being easily hacked
And the existence of these barriers give vital protection
From cyber thieves acting with evil intention

Ken Fisher

See Also: Cyber Safe

The Assault on Irn Bru

The Assault on Irn Bru

I see, in the press, Irn Bru is to change
Less sugar proposed in this magical mixture
It appears some drinkers it might thus estrange
For whom this beverage has long been a fixture

There is a great history behind this well-loved libation
Without it this nation would seem somewhat deprived
So fiddling the formula produces frustration
Why make these changes, we are quite satisfied?

For more than a century the Scots sought refreshment
From this unique blend of secret ingredients
For quenching their thirst, no better replacement
In bottles or cans it was found so convenient

Of course the years have seen changes in its presentation
Glass bottles by plastic in due course succeeded
And adverts quite often produced a sensation
To rival world brands, whisky almost exceeded

But in order to meet targets for sugar reduction
The makers of Irn Bru now offer a spanking new version
And they claim there should be no dissatisfaction
A switch to the new, a quite painless conversion

But in the meantime some traditionalists are simply stockpiling
Crates of the old brand of their great national drink
The prospect of the new not quite so beguiling
And that’s their opinion despite what anyone thinks

Ken Fisher

Hot Water Bottle

Hot Water Bottle

Between icy sheets your warm body slips
That hot water bottle you cannot resist
Without its heat the harsh cold defying
Bed-time would simply be terrifying

The gentle transfer of heat to the sheets
Thus the terrors of cold we seek to defeat
Although the hot bottle is really quite small
It is so much better than nothing at all

In days of yore they relied on the ‘pig’
Compared to the bottle ever so big
With its shiny surface your feet it might scald
An experience which left no-one enthralled

If the weather outside is very severe
Several bottles would bring even more cheer
Strategically positioning is quite an art
To ensure that they service each body part

Decide how best the bag to employ
Properly used it can bring you much joy
So boil up the kettle, then fill to the brim
And winter bed-time will no longer be grim!

Ken Fisher

see Also:https://thebardofkelvindale.com/2017/01/04/electric-blanket/

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

 

[A sonnet for the New Year]

Another day, a brand new year, we pledge a fresh beginning
Forget the past, it can’t be changed, it’s now gone forever
For our dark deeds we hope you yet will be forgiving
Let our resolve to make amends be the only measure
Yet how often in past days have we promised to reform?
But ere the first month of the year has run its course
No evidence of change that we claimed would be the norm
Somehow we seem a victim of a strong external force
So at the start of this new year let’s wipe the old slate clean
And with firm resolve act without further vacillation
That in all our words and actions prove we truly mean
To live out our promises, more than mere aspiration
Give thanks for new beginnings at this threshold of the year
Confronting every challenge, overcoming all our fear

Ken Fisher

See also: https://thebardofkelvindale.com/2017/12/31/at-the-threshold-of-the-year-2018/