Saturday, December 19, 2015

MERRY XMAS 2015/Petrarch 3/Happy New Year

Petrarch's original poem 3 is an Easter poem , of course, but one of my 14 variations of it, soon to be published in full by Crater Press as Petrarch 3, is a Liverpool Christmas poem, and set on 'Black Friday' which in Liverpool is not the consumer day in November, but the last Friday before Christmas, when the city goes mad and taxi drivers, in particular, call it by its dark sobriquet (though 'Mad Friday' is gaining popularity). This year, of course, it doesn't coincide with the Shortest Day, as it must have when I wrote it. What's not to like about a talking dog? My 'translation' of Petrarch; my trans-translation follows:

Era il giorno ch’al sol si scoloraro

That pitiful morning when the light of Heaven
Was hidden for our mourning maker’s sake,
I saw you first that day, My Lady, but
Was captured, disarmed, then bound to your stake. 

It didn’t seem the time for shields and armour
Against Love’s arrows, his batters and blows;
So, unsuspecting, I wept with the world,
But that day my heartbreaks began, my woes.

Love stalked me, found me, unarmed and weak,
And opened my eyes, portals of tears, through which
Sorrow flowed from the passage of my heart.

But feeble was Love’s triumph to triumph
With his arrow over one so enfeebled,
And to not even dare to flash you his dart.


Up at dawn (though it was the Shortest Day),
He was nursing a Black Friday hangover,
But took me on walkies to Seffie. He took a selfie
By the Palm House. Tied to the gate I first saw you.

It was Brass Monkeys, believe me. Licking my bollocks
Was like snuffling dropped ice cream dollops;
The men in their flashing Santa hats looked lugubrious
But the depth of my despair exceeded their Christmas Blues!

Your wet nose sniffled my arse and I growled and howled
Like a stud-dog. I slobbered and chaffed at my chains.
He kicked me and my jaws locked on my bilious yelp.
You lifted your tail like a poodle, fluffy tart,
Tripping past my flailing mass of muscle and lust.
He didn’t even notice, phone in hand, boot in my nuts.

 Please also see my notes on Petrarch variations by Peter Hughes and Tim Atkins here, which is how my project began its life. It's the most looked at page on this blog. There are now 4 more, the 'symboliste' poems, on Card Alpha 1, here. And you can watch me read some of my 'Petrarch' variations here.

'Petrarch 3' is now in print, see here and here.