Roger McGough – ‘Poem for a dead poet’

(No.63 of my favourite short poems)

I have published one of Roger McGough’s poem previously in this series.  You will find it by clicking on this link:   ‘Vinegar’ . . .   Below is another of his poems which I very much enjoy, this time a short elegy for an unnamed poet.  Written in a simplistic style, the poem nevertheless, with both wit and precision, goes straight to the heart of what a poet does and what s/he seeks to be.

Poets Corner

‘Poem for a dead poet’

He was a poet he was.

A proper poet.

He said things

that made you think

and said them nicely.

He saw things

that you or I

could never see

and saw them clearly.

He had a way

with language.

Images flocked around

him like birds.

St. Francis, he was,

of the words. Words?

Why he could almost make ‘em talk.

 

Roger McGough

 

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VINEGAR

(Poem No.37 of my favourite short poems)

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‘Fish & Chip Shop’ … Pen and Wash – WHB 2017

VINEGAR

 Sometimes  

I feel like a priest

In a fish and chip queue

Quietly thinking

As the vinegar runs through

How nice it would be

To buy supper for two

 

By Roger McGough

 [ From:  Penguin Modern Poets 10 – Henri; McGough; Patten ]

This gentle compact verse catches, in just a few phrases, some of the emotion of a humdrum everyday activity and wistfully points to the suppressed yearnings of both a personal and a monastic life.

Roger McGough  (1937 – ) is an English poet, broadcaster, playwright, and children’s author . He presents the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Poetry Please’.   He is one of the leading members of the group which have become known as The Liverpool Poets’.

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