Sunday, 28 February 2010

Herbert's Heaven

I've been racking my brains all week wondering what to write for this week's Poetry Bus. I can't, for the life of me, think of anything, so I've dug out an old poem. I wrote this some seventeen years ago. The Herbert of the title is the metaphysical poet, George Herbert. As I remember it, a verse from his poem The Elixir had  intrigued me:
A man that looks on glasse,
        On it may stay his eye;
Or if he pleaseth, through it passe,
        And then the heav’n espie.
 Anyway, to the poem: It's a short one:


Herbert's Heaven

Frenzied, the moths
with their brownpaper wings
and brownfurry bodies
beat on the glass
(the brownpaper wings
are fluttering softly).

Consider the moths
with their brownpaper gods
and brownfurry angels.

21 comments:

Totalfeckineejit said...

'Consider the moths with their brown paper Gods.' Is an intriguing line and the original thought was an interesting one too.

Titus said...

I like this very much. Especially the final stanza and the biblical echo of "Consider...". Really fine.

Argent said...

I like the idea of the moths having their own "brownfurry" gods and angels. Would spiders' gods have eight legs? Damn! That would have made a goodcore for my effort this week.

Rachel Fox said...

Short can be so much more effective. This says so much. Very good.
x

Niamh B said...

I like brownfurry and brownpaper being one word each - nice one

Karen said...

I like the Biblical "Consider" line and the thoughts it makes me consider. Powerful, this.

Ann ODyne said...

Never mind the quantity,
feel the brown furriness.

Beautiful illustration too.

Elisabeth said...

I love the brown paper image and the powdery wings. This poems captures a great deal of the essence of mothdom for me. Thanks, Dominic

Pure Fiction said...

I like the step sideways the poem takes in the second verse and I love the way you've slipped in those two lines at the end of the first verse.
(the brownfurry wings
are fluttering softly)
There's a playfully chilly tone there that makes me smile and shiver at the same time.

the watercats said...

"consider the moths"... with a line like this how could it be bad!?.... fantastic stuff! This is one of the most intrigueing things I've read in a long time, I like the slightly childish use of language, "brownfurry bodies"... just bloody marvellous!

Emerging Writer said...

Totally love the second stanza. brownpaper Gods. Fantastic

swiss said...

herbert! nicely done. and loving the illustration

The Weaver of Grass said...

As someone with a moth phobia I found this poem VERY compelling. It doesn;t make me like moths any more than I did but the brown paperishness I find attractive in a warped sort of way.

NanU said...

I like the brownfurriness, and to each their own gods.

willow said...

I adore brown paper ANYthing! This was a treat, Dominic.

John Hayes said...

Beautiful brownpaper moth heaven! & great Herbert quote.

Peter Goulding said...

Bit confused by the two ideas of "frenzied" and "fluttering softly" but I just love the idea behind this.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks to everybody for these comments. Pleased you all liked it. A few specific comments:

Argent: Saw a quote the other day along these lines: "If triangles had a god he'd have three sides".

Niamh: It's a Roger McGough trick.

Karen: Yes - consider does have a biblical ring.

Ann ODyne, swiss: Pleased you like the pic. I scanned it from a very, very old encyclopedia.

Peter G: I decided that what is a frenzy for a moth is, for us, a soft fluttering.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

brownpaper gods. I like that.

BarbaraS said...

Oh, now that's quite neat!

Sorlil said...

'consider the moths' - I like it, made me smile!