Saturday, 5 June 2010

Jamie Grant

I don't know anything much about Jamie Grant, except that he is Australian and I like his poems. Most of them are pretty long, but here are a couple of amusing little ones. As someone who told an oral examiner that I washed up only the forks at home (when asked what I did to help my mother round the house, [all other kitchen implements escaped me for a moment and I didn't know the word 'vaisselle', although it is now etched on my memory]), I identify with the second one in particular:

The Surrealist Poem
My daughter composed her first surrealist poem
when I was unknotting her hair with a comb
and had paused, exasperated by a tangle,
to observe: 'Your hair is like a jungle.'
'Your hair is like an icecream parlour, Dad.'
was her instant reply; she proceeded to add:
'Jock's hair is like a pirate ship, and Emily's
hair is like a hospital.' 'And Mummy's?'
I prompted. 'Would it be a telephone or a fairy?'
'No!' the young poet concluded 'Hers is like a library.'


Mon Pere est Mort
For an oral exam, when aged thirteen
my father was asked questions in French
by a visiting professor in trench-
coat and gold-rimmed spectacles, who was lean

with the thin, pursed lips of an enemy
interrogator. He pressed my father
to say what his father's metier
was - an awkward question, for how many

schoolboys know the French for 'Real Estate
Agent'? Adopting a tragic expression
my father just replied, 'Mon pere est mort.'

The professor blushed to commiserate.
When the results of the examination
were known, my father had the highest score.

3 comments:

  1. haha! Love the second poem. (I wonder if I have library hair. I read so many books.....)

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  2. I like the first poem, especially the notion of hair like an ice-cream parlour. That would be my idea of heaven.

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  3. Nurse - What section of the library would be most in evidence?
    Madame - might get messy on a sunny day (if they exist - have just arrived in London where it is teeming)

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