Eve is madly in love with Hugh
And Hugh is keen on Jim.
Charles is in love with very few
And few are in love with him.
Myra sits typing notes of love
With romantic pianist's fingers.
Dick turns his eyes to the heavens above
Where Fran's divine perfume lingers.
Nicky is rolling eyes and tits
And flaunting her wiggly walk.
Everybody is thrilled to bits
By Clive's suggestive talk.
Sex suppressed will go berserk,
But it keeps us all alive.
It's a wonderful change from wives and work
And it ends at half past five.
Estava Miss Twye ensaboando as mamas na barrela
Quando atrás de mim um acintoso riso ouviu,
E para seu grande espanto olhando descobriu
Um homem mau no armário à espreita dela.
COLEGAS DE ESCRITÓRIO
A Eva está doida pelo Quim
Mas o Quim gosta do João.
O Carlos não tem paixões
E poucos por ele têm paixão.
Com dedos de pianista romântico
A São bate cartas de amor.
O Zé põe os olhos no céu
Onde paira o perfume da Leonor.
A Carla revira olhos e tetas
E rebola-se toda a andar.
E todos se excitam de gozo
Com as piadas do Valdemar.
Sexo reprimido dá em tarado,
Mas é o que nos aguenta.
É tão bom mudar do patrão e da mulher
E acabar às cinco e cinquenta.
Traduções de João Ferreira Duarte, em "LEITURAS
poemas do inglês", Relógio de Água, 1993.
The love we thought would never stop
Those who make hurried love don't do so
from any lack of affection
or because they despise their partner
as a human being -
what they're doing
is just as sincere as a more formal wooing.
She may have a train to catch; perhaps the
room is theirs for one hour only
or a mother is expected back or
known, awaited -
so the spur of the moment must be celebrated.
Making love against time is really
the occupation of all lovers
and the clock-hands moving
point a moral:
not crude, but clever
are those who grab what soon is gone for ever.
The Black Box
well as these poor poems
I die they will be buried
so my will provides.
a valuable lesson
The Dildo is a big heavy cumbersome sort of bird,
Supposed extinct for many years but its voice is often heard
Booming and blasting over the marshes and moors
With the harsh note of Lesbos and the great outdoors.
The Dildo wears tweed skirts and Twenties elastic-thighed knickers
And smokes black cheroots and still calls films “the flickers”.
It wears pork-pie hats and is really one of the boys,
It has initiated mane pretty girls into forbidden joys.
It has an eye-glass in one eye, and its bad-taste jokes are myriad,
Such as the one about Emily Bronte’s Last Period,
And a good many others that are best left unsaid,
Buried in the old laughter, as the dead bury the dead.
The Dildo is quite frankly worshipped by some members of the community,
Who consider that even its name cannot be taken in vain with impunity
As it hops heavily about on its one wooden leg –
But most real Nature-lovers think it should be taken down a Peg.
Published: 5 March 2013
, a collection of “classic” interviews published this month, might not be the first place you would think to look for a poet – but there he is, Gavin Ewart, chatting with Nigel Spivey over a Negroni or three, at the Café Royal. It is a reminder that this “naturally modest man”, who published hardly any poetry for twenty years and worked in advertising for another twenty (he came up with the name “Strongbow” for a certain Herefordshire cider), was deemed by Harold Bloom to be “one of the essential writers of the 20th century”. There was vindication in that accolade, as Spivey notes, “proving that good light verse has a place with good heavy verse in our lives”.
Plenty of Ewart’s verse, not all of it light, appeared in the from the 1970s onwards. He paid tribute to the paper’s brain-teasing “Author, Author” competition with an unsolvable pastiche, and defended his friend Peter Reading’s poem “Cub” from a charge of anti-Semitism. “Conversation Piece”, published at the end of December 1977, is a serious business, too, despite its playfulness (that punning title, that parenthetic “are we direct?”). The subject is age of several kinds, as well as sex: the aged relatives; another age (“same game / . . . different rules”); the timelessness of myth; old age in general. In the end, as if exhausted and resigned at last, the conventional rhyme scheme does its best to flatten out, into .
I sit and hear my mother and my aunt talking of dog-carts, of a century gone I try to imagine (there are some who can’t). Their total age is 181. Under the clothes, the bodies were the same as those the striptease, shamelessly as cards, deals to the watchers now. Just the same game but played by different rules; , ,
masks of all sorts, the flirting with a fan, a kind of fencing with an instinct. Who loved who they had their ways of knowing, woman and man Something outside them told them what to do. They weren’t direct like us (are we direct?), Victoria sat there like a monolith but even nice girls knew what to expect, how Zeus crept up on Leda in the myth –
without a visiting card, in fancy dress. No lady left the house without her gloves. Deafness makes meaning something they must guess, arthritis stiffens Venus and her doves, for three decades no lovemaking at all – beauty was jolly, with a motoring veil. There should be writing, writing on the wall: All sex shall fail, but love shall never fail.
Gavin Ewart (1977)
Published: 26 August 2014
Poem of the Week: “Two Semantic Limericks”
This definition comes from the dictionary Gavin Ewart used for the first of his prose versions of the limerick better known as “There was a young man from St John’s”. It is full of the straight-faced reference to unbuttoned licence from which Ewart produces what the then poetry editor Mick Imlah called a “lastingly funny” poem. As an account of the origins of this well-known form, however, it begs a number of questions. The limerick has indeed been traced to the “flyting” in Gaelic of rival poets in a pub in Croom, County Limerick, in the mid-eighteenth century, but these were only translated into English by the Irish nationalist poet James Mangan in 1840, some twenty years after the appearance of (1820) – an illustration from which inspired Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat” – and (1822), one of whom was the original “old man of Tobago”.
The combination of coarse jokes and childish nonsense in the limerick’s pedigree is reflected in the wide variety of uses to which it is still put, though it is perhaps happiest in adult company, unembarrassed when the conversation turns, as here, to bestiality and buggery. But Ewart does more than recycle an old joke. By treating sexual perversion with scholarly and pedantic precision he may be mocking the dons’ inability to see a joke, or perhaps ironically endorsing their preposterous privilege. The Fellows of St John’s are the only people outside the royal family legally allowed to eat unmarked mute swans, though that hardly entitles them to take the kind of liberty suggested here.
There existed an adult male person who had lived a relatively short time, belonging or pertaining to St John’s*, who desired to commit sodomy with the large web-footed swimming-birds of the genus or subfamily of the family , characterized by a long and gracefully curved neck and a majestic motion when swimming.
So he moved into the presence of the person employed to carry burdens, who declared: “Hold or possess as something at your disposal my female child! The large web-footed swimming-birds of the genus or subfamily of the family , characterized by a long and gracefully curved neck and a majestic motion when swimming, are set apart, specially retained for the Head, Fellows and Tutors of the College.”
There exifted a person, not a woman or a boy, being in the firft part of life, not old, of St John’s* who wifhed to –––– the large water-fowl, that have a long and very ftraight neck, and are very white, excepting when they are young (their legs and feet being black, as are their bills, which are like that of a goofe, but fomething rounder, and a little hooked at the lower ends, the two fides below their eyes being black and fhining like ebony).
In consequence of this he moved step by step to the one that had charge of the gate, who pronounced: “Poffefs and enjoy my female offspring! The large water-fowl, that have a long and very ftraight neck, and are very white, excepting when they are young (their legs and feet being black, as are their bills, which are like that of a goofe, but fomething rounder, and a little hooked at the lower ends, the two fides below their eyes being black and fhining like ebony) are kept in ftore, laid up for a future time, for the fake of the gentlemen with Spanish titles.”
Gavin Ewart (1977)
Mr. Bauld's English - 7 poems