Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Try One

Try one on me
see how it sells.
I smile a lot,
I'm a bit gullibell.
I don't make decisions,
I just drift along,
say you like music,
I'll sing you a song,
my dear.

We say that it's love - 
we have no other word - 
this straining and scraping
should be so absurd.
We can't do without,
now we've started so strong,
there's no question now
of the right and the wrong,
my darling.

Is it me that you want, 
or do you want me?
Can we sit without touching
when we watch the TV?
I feel an imposter,
so please make it dark,
it's your night on the roster,
my dear,
my darling,
my heart.

Mary McCallum

Oh this is so old, written so long ago, from the point of view of someone I knew once. Can't tell you much about it really, except that it is stuck word for word inside my head. That's the way with old poems I guess, good or bad. I like the contrasts of tone and subject matter in Try One, the tacked on endearments which are multiplied at the end and slightly off-key (who says 'my dear'?), the word 'gullibell', and the fact that back then people I knew (me too) just drifted along. Otherwise, I find it very hard to approach the poem. It's become ineluctable, an object; it just is.

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LentenStuffe said...


Now I get your 'audacious': there's something very brave but coy in this poem that you pull off with brazen delicacy. Nice.

Helen Lowe said...

The rhythms and form seem more like a song than a poem, but then, where does the poem end and the song begin?

Rachel Fenton said...

For some reason it made me think of E A Poe's The Raven Probably the tonal shift you note.