Saturday, 10 August 2013

bitter sweet (the life and death of apollinaire) - christopher daybell

When l was in Dublin over 20 years ago, l bought this self made, poorly printed and slim poetry leaflet from Christopher Daybell himself, who was selling them in the middle of the street.  I like a bit of poetry myself, and as l also admire anyone who follows their muse and stands on the street to publicise and promote their calling, old Christopher couldn't go far wrong when l approached him.  Talking to him, it turned out he had packed in his job to produce poetry works and follow his calling, and trust me, as he was no spring chicken at the time, it must have been one hell of a serious calling.  I don't know much about him, but l am aware that he produced a fair amount of work over the years, but died in about 2000.  Dublin has lost one of its characters with his passing (and my absence!).

Here's one of his other works

Marcus Aurelius

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I, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius,
Have seen with my two eyes,
Know in this head on which the helmet weighs,
That there is nothing new under the sun.
As a man and a stoic I am of the universe,
But since I am Antoninus I am Rome.
According to the mask I wear
I could build A temple reflecting blood or mercy,
But blood flows and has always flowed.
I have decreed that gladiators use blunted swords,
But this new sect who have the symbol of the fish
Are dangerous to the state, so I feed them to lions.
I follow the strictest personal rules:
When a man drops a false construction in his speech
I will never correct him to his face,
But I repeat the proper phrasing afterwards.
During these endless frontier wars
As I sit in my tent at night writing
These meditations no one will read,
I am not happy.
I was not called For happiness when Antoninus adopted me,
A simple life on a farm would please me more.
But the skeins of my life were ravelled Before my birth,
and I follow them to my death.

toodle pip

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