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So I was browsing John Finnemore's blog in the hope that there was a new post, and as there wasn't, reading his old posts.

And I read the post about alternative second lines/couplets for Housman poems. AND its comments.

And read:

Oh, when I was in love with you
Then I was clean and brave,
Since you have gone and I am blue
I can't be arsed to shave.

        by Jessica.

And thought of Bodie in the squat, by ali15son.

While I'm on the subject of Bodie and poetry, has anyone ever thought what a bleak poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci is for him to quote? ("Alone and palely loitering") I mean, it's not The Pot of Basil or The Eve of St Agnes, is it?

Also, d'you reckon he knew A Song About Myself? "There was a naughty boy,/ A naughty boy was he,/ He would not stop at home,/ He could not quiet be --"

Finally, a few years ago, a friend who knows I love poetry bought me Roger McGough's 1971 collection After The Merrymaking for my birthday. I read it, but it is not really my cup of tea (Housman and Keats are more my style. And... well, poets who follow rules of rhyme and/or metre and assonance and aliteration... not "free" verse).

But I kept it because it was a gift. And then recently I remembered that McGough is Liverpudlian and was part of the 60s Mersey Sound and I re-read it.

And I do wonder whether it might be more to Bodie's taste than many of the poets/poems fandom associates with him.

I mean, there's the sequence, "The Amazing Adventures of P. C. Plod" (who is so stupid he has a conversation with a man in a cafe about how it's a strange coincidence that he looks identical to the identikit picture of a serial criminal, who takes drugs off a drug-dealer in order to sell them on to his Sergeant, who attends a, "two day refresher course in studentbaiting", etc etc).

There's Buddies which includes the stanza: "We fought the enemy side by side/ And occasionally fought eachother [sic]/ when they gave us hell/ we gave them more/ Cried after the first battle/ that's what buddies are for"

after the merrymaking, love?
after the merrymaking,
Back to my place
it's not far
a little shedevil
whoever you are.
It was great fun while I lasted.

after the love,
In the onrush of its lava
we are caught
side by side
arms entangled
carcass to carcass.

after the sleep,
The sweat dry
and a little nearer death
we awake to meet the day
we say goodmorning
and I wish you five hundred miles away.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 12th, 2015 04:16 am (UTC)
I attribute to Bodie a taste for Housman, with no support whatever from canon, but writer's licence...

Indeed, other than that one line from Keats and a mention of "the blushy dawn" (which I've never been able to pinpoint)I think the canon poetry content of Pros is nil.

Thank you for the alternative lines link!

Apr. 12th, 2015 07:14 am (UTC)
I attribute to Bodie a taste for Housman, with no support whatever from canon, but writer's licence...

(::blush:: I'd forgotten http://archiveofourown.org/works/109500 was by you, though it's in my Bookmarks. I liked that one. :D Though IIRC you are not the only fan-writer who has Bodie quoting Housman. But I like "Poetry to Protect Us" and how you used the poems and I like the story of Doyle's mum and how it ties in to the one line he ever spoke about her, "Even my mum's heard of Bhurokov.")

One of the things with Bodie, is that other than birds and Ray and the (very occasional) game of cricket or tennis, we have a pretty free hand for how he spends his downtime. We are told Ray paints and runs a class for kids at at Youth Centre, see Ray reading, we hear his music (I remember Bodie's stereo, but can't recall him ever playing music), we see a guitar in one of his flats and a shelf crammed thick with Penguin paperbacks, we have him going to a "rock concert", and dancing in clubs, see pot plants (and giving advice about roses), have him working on a classic bike and owning a classic car...

Downtime Bodie is dates, bed and trying to get Ray to spend even more time with him - whether that's take away and a game on the box, or out for a drink, or double dates. When we see him reading it's magazines (whether skin-mags or Private Eye satire) and tabloids (my parents used to get The Express and The Telegraph until they decided TE had gone too far downhill and even as a kid I remember noticing the difference in what stories they covered and *how* they covered them - TE was not as trashy as The Sun or as right-wing as The Mail but it definitely was not The Torygraph).

But alone in bed he could love to curl up with the Romantics or the War Poets, or Bertrand Russell on philosophy, or even Georgette Heyer. We don't *know* so it's fair game. :)

And I like the Keats connection - even though one line of a famous poem by a famous poet is meaningless, given most people (even my Dad) remember odd lines of poems from school. Dad's most-quoted line (the opening to Casabianca) is usually followed by an alternative second, actually: "The boy stood on the burning deck/ Picking his nose like mad./ He rolled it into tiny balls/ And flicked them at his Dad!" Cf also "The elephant is a graceful bird" and the Rare-y Bird joke, both of which I gave to Doyle in my Not A Fic.

I always took "the poets would call it the blushy Dawn" to be more an example of the things poets say as opposed to the Accurist (what *is* the make? There's a thing to catch in the new DVDs) technology in his top of the line watch.

Did you have an opinion on the McGough?

Thank you for the alternative lines link!

The one I like best, riffs off Frost (and is possibly on the previous post to the linked one):

The wood are lovely, dark, and deep,
And I have Semtex to secrete.

So VERY Pros!
Apr. 12th, 2015 04:04 pm (UTC)
Wasn't familiar with McGough but enjoyed the bits there.
Apr. 12th, 2015 03:41 pm (UTC)
There's the Samuel Becket'd like that. Life in a word--if. reference. Not exactly poetry, but along the same lines I always think... *g*
Apr. 12th, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes - establishing literary credibilty early on. (Not sure that's exactly the phrase I'm looking for but I'm not quite awake.)
Apr. 12th, 2015 03:39 pm (UTC)
has anyone ever thought what a bleak poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci is for him to quote?
Not me - I can see it fitting him in some of his own bleaker moments. And I can go with the idea that that's when he'd think of poetry to quote too, rather than when he's being all cheerful anyway and doing other things. I don't think we hear him quote funny or cheerful poetry in canon (though he does tell the cage of gay rats joke *g*), so... so to me that's just his canon.

And I do wonder whether it might be more to Bodie's taste than many of the poets/poems fandom associates with him.
Well, if a story made a decent case for it, then I wouldn't necessarily disbelieve it, but I think the reason fandom associates poetry with Bodie is that we do see him with it in canon, and what we see is more classical - Keats, Beckett, "the blushy dawn"... I think the fact that he quotes it - even just in dribs and drabs - and drops it into conversations, is reasonably telling. So that's where I'm coming from with Bodie and poetry... *g*
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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