I’m into week 4 of the excellent “Mod Po” (Contemporary and Modern American Poetry) course run by coursera.
If you don’t know about coursera, you should. All sorts of subjects are taught online, for free, by leading international universities. If Mod Po is anything to go by, the courses are as good as anything you’d pay large amounts of money for at your local university.
This week, the subject has been modernism, finishing off with a hilarious little piss-take of the sonnet, by John Peale Bishop, “A Recollection”.
Here is my take on it: a sort of sonnet, inspired by recent Australian political events involving Alan Jones. (if you don’t know about Alan Jones, all you need to know is that he is a right wing radio shock jock of the lowest kind).
Remember, one of the things about modernism is to read the words, forget the way you were taught to read, just look at the words. Leave a message if you can read them.
Alan Jones Descending the Staircase, Nude
Shamelessly, he descends, pink domed
Unfettered by reflection or intellect, caught
Creased not by wisdom’s pearls, flaunted paunch
Knees knocked inward, straining under the load
Heavy breasted, flab flanked, greying pubes were
Odder even when a younger self fought
Lone against bullies, scrawling obscene thoughts
Each day, unimagined, an unloved twerp
So he suffered under a darker cloud
Moved his waxy hands to prey
Each time he succumbed penitent not proud
Devoid of love-liness, spoiled depraved
In later times he dishonours his own as he would
A braying pustule on the airwaves