Remember the last post? Well…
I have been fannying about over this for months but I paid for them and they finally arrived today. And here it is!;
In the early days of publishing, when the press was newly minted, the first things to be printed were announcements of state etc and poems. They weren’t called ‘poems’ back then really, they were ‘Ballads’ or ‘Great Lyrics’. Poetry back then was actually a pretty important, it was a form of gathering information, a way to perform tales, publish shows, entertain the gentry, ‘pull-the-birds’ and so on. Printing pamphlets became fashionable due to the wealth of essayists cropping up having their say about a great many things in long and verbose ways. Poetry was (in my opinion) a more succinct and, at times, more accurate way of explaining things. Printing presses were expensive and difficult to get right but they tended not to be owned by massive, multi-national printing companies so getting something printed – for the right fee – was not so difficult. As such it became a bastion of free speech that was utilised by many to publicise their own opinions in small manageable forms. Radicals gravitated toward this mode of expression including my favourite poet. Blake was a printer himself who self-published the two illuminated texts ‘Songs of Innocence’ and ‘Experience’ respectively. Whether you realise it or not, you know these two books. They had The Tiger, London, Little Boy Lost, The Sick Rose and The Lamb in them, as well as examples of perfection in verse. He hand coloured each one and he only printed a hundred of each. He garnered no acclaim for these in his life and died in poverty but today he is (rightly) seen as a seer, visionary and master of the Prosodic scheme. Karl Marx also wrote some truly powerful poetry while in London which was printed in pamphlet form and, well, you know what happened there… During the wars there was something of a lull in the idea of radical publishing and printing as it was used as propaganda mainly and afterwards there was a severe absence of this mode of outspoken expression. It was reclaimed in the 70’s by the likes of Ted Hughes who, again, voiced concerns and/or contempt for current affairs. Since then however there has been little or no pamphlet publication of any great worth. In the last year or two however it has become very fashionable again. So much so that the ubiquitous poetry publisher Faber&Faber are printing pamphlets under their ‘Faber New Poets’ scheme. So! In attempt to grab the reins of the wandering steer behind this Band Wagon I have made my own.
At The End of Days is a pamphlet collection of eleven poems written by me about various things but mainly my utter contempt for our current parliament. I don’t want to ostracise myself by loosing all my bile on you poor people but my attitude is that we live in a democracy where our officials are ELECTED. Not subversively manhandled into power by a unholy alliance illegal merger Coalition. I am honestly scared for our country if a party who were not elected get into power and no one bats an eyelid. NO ONE IS HAPPY WITH THIS! Tories hate it because they have to put up with those damn Lib Dems, The Lib Dems hate it because of the Tories and Labour are too busy in-fighting to notice. So why is no one really, fucking angry about this?! I am by no means saying any of the parties is the better choice – they are all as useless as each other in my opinion – but we are actually living in a totally un-democratic country. Hello?! Remember those millions of dead people who fight and die so we can keep that? I’m not being a jingoistic, patriotic, flag-waving dick either, I am trying to point out that that is exactly what I want to avoid. If a party can get round the system that easily and get into and more importantly maintain power, I am truly terrified. What with hard right parties like the BNP gaining support and, even worse, seats! What next? I am prejudiced against the Tories as it is but they are no less than lying, cheating, Machiavellian scum to me now but that is just my opinion but ignoring all that people, let’s get our FREE SPEECH BACK! Please?
Alright, I’ll climb down off my soapbox. This is what I wrote the pamphlet for. It is free to anyone who wants it. I will be giving copies to my local libraries in Didsbury and Withington if you want a look/read/buy. They will charge you to buy but the money goes straight in their till not my pocket and libraries need the money at the moment so do your bit and support them. If you live near me I will happily give you as many copies as you want/need (so long as they’re not used for kindling) but if you want some posting you will have to pay postage. I have put a button below for you to order them and I will get them out to you as soon as I can. It’s just me doing the packaging so please be patient. I will also be leaving some in various places that may accept them as well as dotted around Manc. I could only afford to print a hundred but I imagine that is probably more than enough. They are beautifully printed on FSC accredited recycled paper using vegetable oil inks by these nice people, so it is fully biodegradable and lovely.
I have literally, put my money where my mouth is here and poured a lot of blood, sweat, tears, time, effort and cash into this so please take a look. As I say, it is free. Read it for the political stand point if you wish but that is not all there is to it. A few poems are not even about that and are just (hopefully) nice poems. So if you are a lefty-radicalist – please read, or just a fan of writing – please read. Either way – PLEASE READ. “Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason” said Novalis and I hope that is true.
Thanks go to James Cook, who took a glance at my finished layout for any glaring errors or mistakes and James & Nic for encouraging and assisting its development. Your rewards will be in Heaven because I can’t afford them now.
Also any comments (on this blog or in person) about me being Pretentious… well, nothing really, just keep it to yourself because it is insulting and hurtful and I am only trying to do a little good and what I feel is right. If you do get a copy and you do like it (I’m not interested if you don’t – like I say, it’s free, if you think it’s shit it cost you nothing so you can keep it to yourself) please get in touch or let other people know. Spread the word.
Thanks for reading and I hope you like the poems.