#poem #poetry #amwriting sketchbook clearing the mind

clearing the mind

I have the urge to write something epic
of gods and heroes
with horses flaring their nostrils
banners streaming
with long words like hermaneutically

but it all just sounds so silly

and then I come back to yeats
and try once again to read of his heroes
and their gallant defence of the biscuit factory

but professor laffin stops me
with his simple truth
that the heroes were not the heroes
of yeats
if anyone is yeats hero
it is the commander of the firing squads
that for various reasons of protocol
made them martyrs
by prolonging the shootings
which swung the sympathy in their favour

which is perhaps why whenever I start
with a heroic couplet or two
with dido on the walls of carthage
or the raising of skirts for the rape of the sabine women
I find myself distracted
by something far more important
hail on the back door window pane
the wit of a child
a thought about the heroic struggles of people I know
but mainly just a flower

I have no need for heroes
nor any real desire to prove myself great
I shall leave that to faux and the bored
and seek my verse in something else

The Blue Book