In religion, some literary tastes and politics I’m Marly Youmans’ polar opposite yet it doesn’t seem to matter a damn. She doesn’t blog much now but earlier I was tempted into long comments at The Palace at 2 AM to which she always conscientiously replied. For me a window on an entirely different and civilised way of life with strangely Faulknerian roots. We both write novels (she much more professionally) and that was a bond.
I bought Marly’s The Book of The Red King, suspecting it might not be my cup of tea, poems written by Fool en route to the Red King’s palace. I’m not into myth/fantasy and my fictional characters include a former production manager at a washing machine manufacturer. Not social realism y’unnerstand, but slightly gritty.
However in my sere, yellow and almost-dropping-off years I write verse. Marly’s good at that except hers is poetry. Red King may emerge as a narrative but in the interim I’m treating her poems as separate entities. Looking for what races my motor. Plenty does. It’s not exactly news but Marly loves words:
And beauty – golden perianth,
Blown glass, the bending trees
A marble fairy on a plinth.
But they don’t have to be exotic
The water let him down. It took him in
The water waved his hair as if with love
Cold lensed against his eyes as if to show...
Marly’s eclectic in this cento (ie, a patchwork)
A different kingdom, whole words apart (Proust)
Voices in the waves always whispering (Dickens)
And murmuring of boughs, and sleepy boughs (Yeats – a Marly trade mark)
Edges into my Schubertian world with The Miller’s Son
The arms are strange, almost a pair of legs
Borrowed from a horse...
And there’s The Twelfth-night Fool but I’ve run out of...