POETRY

Two Things the Young Poet Liked Way Back Then

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I liked it when my arse was
                tickled with a feather by
                                Botticelli virgins
                                                in a knocking shop,

since no-one of my class was
                sufficently together (sigh)
                                to satisfy the urgings
                                                of my lollipop.

I liked a style of verse in-
                geniously erotic, oh
                                the flickering flambeau
                                                on the black, silk sheets.

It went from bad to worse in
                polyglot exotic. O
                                my flea-bitten Rimbaud!
                                                O my blood-choked Keats!

John Whitworth is one of those fattish, baldish, backward-looking, provincial poets in which England is so rich. His tenth collection, Girlie Gangs, was published by Enitharmon in 2012 to international acclaim. Well, Les Murray liked it. And Walter Ancarrow in America. You might also consider Writing Poetry published by A & C Black, one of those how-to books; it has run to a second edition and is pretty good, though he (the poet) would say that, wouldn’t he? He once won £5,000 for a single poem. Listen and marvel.

I liked it when my arse was
                tickled with a feather by
                                Botticelli virgins
                                                in a knocking shop,