Thursday, September 10, 2015

Contemporarty Reflection on a Scene Seven Years After It Occured

I think in this day and age, anyone with a book to sell can just set up a facebook page and do it all ourselves. As Graves informs us in his first of the 1954/5 series of Cambridge Clarke lectures, The Crowning Privilege; 'what can our peers sanction us with if we are guilty of unpoetic conduct?'

Concluding, in politer lingo, Sweet F. All m8. Because, unlike other professions, there is no central governing bardic body, no guild of poets we gain admittance to by passing an entrance exam. Anyone can (and everyone does) call themself a poet by self-qualifying in a handful of clicks it takes to set up a global social-media page and start selling ourselves straight away as know-alls on the craft and art of poetry we make up as we go along.

Anyone can, and everyone does, get grafting write away. There are no set texts or fixed course of study and you qualify by saying, yeah, i am a poet. Except of course, now, there is the real filidh / poets' instruction and training programme i personally have reconnected with, all there in black and white english translation, that instructed 40 generations of rhymers, and that it is my role in life now i am trained and know what i am on about, to helpfully inform one's komrades in the Official Tuatha De Bogmanadon Klan revolution, all about it. Ah, such bliss.

I've no book to sell, just lots of poems in various stages of completion and abandonment.

And Tho i didn't understand it at the time as being such, a consequence of being born into and reared the child of immigrants in the English class system and culture; I always thought, from the very beginning, when i started my writing studies and drama BA in England and quickly fell into writing early (unpublished) poems, that the only sure fire way of making sure a toxically condescending ultra-Oxbreligious English voice didn't intentionally cripple me and stop me writing altogether - when i first started out a 34 year old ex-everything - with just one smart and sneery passive-aggressive crack - 'urgh, you, write poatreh?' - that i wud learn as best i cud, with what English translations we have, as close to how the bards of yore were taught on the full 12-14 year filidh curriculum.

Not only is it real, i thought -- tho it took five years full time study and writing to construct a skeletal grasp of the totality of tales and texts that make up this body of ancient Irish knowledge and song known as coimgne -- but it also meant i did not have to 'publish' anything for the 12-14 years i was a student reading, writing and taking in and on the texts and knowledge that led one thru the seven grades from focloc (beginner), macfirmind (son of composition), dos (no-one knows what this means), cano (whelp/cub), cli (ridgepole), anruth (great/noble stream) and the final, five to seven year stretch of study, from great/noble stream to poetry professor, and, ollamh

No pressure.

All i had to do was find a way to keep on reading, studying, reciting and writing. And now i have done it, i no longer care about being 'published' because i learned that good writing stands on its own two feet and doesn't need any marketing to get noticed and create an audience. All the hard graft pre-web generations had to do, not to mention rejection; our new online hipster bogcando generations, didn't.

Or rather, do, but in a different way. I had four years on the Guardian where i was poetry enemy number one, two, three, four, five, six, seven,  going thru hundreds of nom de plumes, and countless other sites that banned me because the jealous admin/poet didn't like my harmless writing, at all.

The one constant i found is human nature, and it confirmed and conformed to all the druidically simple and amazingly ingenious, natural bardic principles one learns in Amergins Cauldron of Poesy ars poetica text that so few of us, Dear Reader, are even aware exists.

And most who are, closing their ears and not wanting to know because, as Fred points out, they want it all now, the readership, the big prizes for one slim volume of work four years after starting to write on the MA at Trinity, handed to us on a golden plates, inner circle greatness. That can only come by the act and experience of writing, and doing your 20,000 hours, 30 hours a week. The full 12-14 year poetry / filiocht apprenticeship.

The first successful online oiwish gobmen and shouty lady poatz, just made a few right moves, got the right people to anoint em, and bingo, the next thing is a loada smug poatz all playing the same old editorial ass-kiss game online, as those that officially anointed em did, and do, in the paper page scene founded on a concept of 'there can be only an exclusive handful of us, award-winning poetry judges and mates.'

The first were our shared literary enemies, the O'Bigggins of the over-hyped O'Boglands' canon shooting blanks. Duffers believing themselves to be the mutts' nuts, the bluntest satirists in Awyerlendz, and Poetry Lords of the Diva De Bogmanadon Klan, ranting and shouting, demanding cynosure and twinkle, praise and understanding for their horrendously needy egos lording it over all of us.

I never bothered with all that. After i found Cauldron of Poesy in 2005, Amergin Glúingel's seminal ars poetica, first translated in 1978, by late Galwegian acadmeic, PL Henry - the authentic drudic poetic, in a 7C voice, 120 lines of the 172 attributed to Amergin - i knew i didn't have to. Because its contents, wise and authentically druidic, are worth more than any acceptance from every poetry editor on the planet combined.

Who cares what these editors that aren't even aware of what i know and love, think of what i write? I cudnt give a monkeys, and never have. Mayo stock. My paternal Grannie was born and reared in a one room stone bothy with her nine siblings, on the lower slopes of Sraheens bog on Achill. I cud be the new John F Deane. My uncle lives in Bun an Churraigh, same place John grew up. We share the same God. He has asked me to succeed him, to inherit his mantle, and do it for Mayo. I am not going to let JFD down, Fred. This is serious. We cannot larf.

And now i have finished the 14 years, i can put up a plaque and start taking people on on any published page in our shared contemporary global existence. Engage in any critical debates about poetry and dán, and never fail to learn something positive and, hopefully, keep myself happy doing so. I spent many years practising critical debates online, all over the internet, at every single site i cud find. Most of which, at some point, banned me, for nothing more than wanting to joyfully learn the bardic curriculum.

The Foetry Poundation famously closed itself down to comments after Foetry Hall of Shame creator and contemporary American poetry legend, Portland Community College librarian, and the man who exposed who was bunging who on a hitherto, as here, hidden behind the scenes judge-mates-bunging-judge-mates way of deciding whose poetry was the best Award Winning in the American noughites poetry prize-scene; Alan Cordle - along with partners in rhyme from the Foetry exposure days, Interdisciplinary Studies Advisor in the MFA Poetry of Lesley University, Cambridge, MA; Thomas Graves; along with 60s Rhodes Scholar and literary mystic taught by Leavis in Oxford, now octogenarian shamanic healer in SE Asia, Christopher Woodman -- & myself -  the sole non-American - living in a Kilmainham attic penthouse-bedsit, at the time, before i moved to the Iveagh flats; unconsciously and independently, were all drawn by fate/poetry and dán, to find ourselves in the inaugural Obama campaign year, druidically assembled in 2008/9 there, at the inner temple of the Foetry Poundation, home and soul of poetic modernism, on the comment section of Harriet Blog. And we exposed the Foetry Poundation for what it was.

Anyway, now, everybody, we can all start to talk about what is the real imbas forosnai that writes the best dán and poetry, instead of all the pompous spontaneous claptrap we can all invent when we get going as a fully (un)qualified rhymer without any real bardic training. .

I just want to learn by rehearsing in print, the real truth of the filiocht / poetry program. Not what Ezra Pound or The Best Contemporary Hipster Poet In Ireland According To His/Her Publising Cronies W***king One Another Off Shout Loudly IS YAWL, on our low-grade home-bog social-media shark-tanks where eff all happens except us all boasting how great we are via the mouths of our pals in doggerel barking mad-dog sh*** on the Bogland of Poesy.

As a consequence of my amateur unpublished fourteen years unencumbered by all the bullshit everyone else buys into, the Award Winning nonsense; i learned well how to speak across the board with anyone at all. Belinda McKeon i have not read, but she looks nice enough in her photie. I wonder if she is after a good and knowledgeable friend on the page. I can be her pal in letters. I am sure she is very nice, but i will read her and get back to you with my critical opinion. Thanks very much Fredriko ka ka. Ere, av a birra tha besht

Desmond Swords