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Sunday 6 March 2011

Poetry Corner

In a probably doomed attempt to "improve" you Philistines out there, with your noisy records that just go bang bang bang and the words that you can't make out, we at 27 Leggies are bringing you some culture. Some poetry, to be precise.

"The Way I Feel" is a 1975 album by American poet/activist/educator Nikki Giovanni on which she recites her poems to a generally fairly mellow soul and jazz backing. The music was written and arranged by none other than Arif Mardin and performed by such notable session players as Cornell Dupree, Bernard Purdie and Richard Tee.

"Just A NY Poem" - Nikki Giovanni

"My House" - Nikki Giovanni

"Poem For A Lady Whose Voice I Like" - Nikki Giovanni

It's not bad, although it doesn't begin to compare with the majesty of the immortal William McGonagall, whose complete works - and extraordinary personal history - are all available online. Take, for example, the climax to his moving account of the terrible collapse of the Tay railway bridge in 1879 (or his terrible account of the moving collapse, if you prefer):

"Oh, ill-fated bridge of the silvery Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side by buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed."

But we've saved the best poetry for the end.


  1. brilliant post - thanks for taking us back to carry us forward musically.

    - Paul the Philistine ;)

  2. Paul. You cannot be considered a Philistine. You should rename yourself Paul the Polymath.