Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Poetry Thief

A Plagiarised Poem*

I sent a message to the fish: I told them,
The time will come...

Everything glittered like blank paper,
waiting to be re-fleshed by me.

The best minds of my generation destroyed
by the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell.

The ants dismantled bit by bit:
twined the past through my fingers,

and play inside my head like broken chords.
Then spill the heart from its circumference,

and for those last bewildered weeks
Sparse breaths, then none.

An inch of silver flesh declared itself;
cool and soft as crumbled silk.

To us the sun is silent, yet it roars
of metaphors with sharper beaks.

Sneaking around in camouflage gear,
made of the leaves of herbs and absolute

mists and mellow fruitfulness –
missing its last definition

Of irreparable emptiness!

The above poem is an amalgamation of ‘stolen’ lines. The lines do not belong to me, although they can all be found on my bookshelves. They are the lines of others; of poets that I have read; of poets that I admire; of poets that inspire me. Some of the lines are from favourite poems, while others are simply by favourite poets – either way, they carry an importance that resonates as their rhythm beats out.

*The poem is not my work – rather it is the work of the following poets:

Lewis Carroll, Alice Through the Looking-Glass. Derek Walcott, ‘Love after Love’. Sylvia Plath, ‘Suicide off Egg Rock’. Grace Nichols, ‘Woman paddling canoe’. Allen Ginsberg, Howl. T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land: ‘Death by Water’. Jorie Graham, ‘Salmon’. Polly Clark, ‘My Life with Horses’. Carol Ann Duffy, ‘Wintering’. Alice Oswald, ‘Mountains’. Wendy Cope, ‘Names’. Christopher Reid, ‘A Scattering’. Simon Armitage, ‘Song’. Frances Leviston, ‘Ashes’. Rachael Boast, ‘A Right Angle’. Peter Porter, ‘Whereof We Cannot Speak’. Margaret Atwood, ‘It’s Autumn’. Jo Shapcott, ‘Procedure’. John Keats, ‘To Autumn’. Seamus Heaney, ‘Bogland’. Irina Ratushinskaya, ‘I Shall Write’.

Thank you for reading,



Ashley R Lister said...


Lindsay said...

That is awesome Lara, incredibly clever and it all makes a beautiful poem. Great post, and uniquely yours despite the borrowing.

Ste said...

Once again this post shows how rushed readings on a phone on the bus in the morning do NOT do this blog justice - just given this its evening reading and it's bloody brilliant! Top post Lara :)