(Thanks to Chris for the link.)
I saw the Poetry Reading on numerous blogs last year, not long before I took the plunge into knitblogging, and enjoyed it so very much. I’m glad I can play this year. However, I’m cheating a bit. The poem I just found, courtesy of Ravelry, should be a true poetry reading, so this isn’t really meant to be a (Silent) Reading as Chris’ post says (you have to hear this poem to get the full effect and brilliant use of language), but due to the sound quality as well as the British dialect, this Yank had trouble getting all the words, thus the written version. But right now, the link to the video recording seems not to be working. I hope to add it in, if it’s restored; check back if you read this without the video. It’s worth it! ETA: See Harvey’s comment below; it’s hoped that the video clip will be available again soon. I’ll email commenters when it is, as well as posting it, if you like. The live performance is just unbelievable; the poem is meant to be performed.
Thanks to the subject of the poem, Peter Wyton’s daughter Harvey, for sharing the link on a Ravelry thread then getting the written words from her dad. This poem was written about a real incident.
THE NEEDLES AND THE DAMAGE DONE
by Peter Wyton
My daughter. I brought her up. I taught her wrong from right
And black from white and all the grey bits in between,
Know what I mean? So what does she do,
The artless, heartless little moo? Frightens me
Fartless by sodding off to live in Brighton,
The Sussex Sodom & Gomorrah of yesterday, today,
Tomorrow and well into the middle of next week,
Magnet for every freak from John O’Groats to Lands End,
Chock full of gender-benders, boozers, cruisers,
Serial substance abusers – and unusually, I’m not talking muesli!
The stuff they smoke would make Puff the Magic Dragon choke.
The lengths they go to in pursuit of carnal satisfaction
Would put Casanova in traction.
And are all these salacious South Coast groins enough
To gratify the sole feminine fruit of my loins?
Is there no depth of depravity, no unexplored corporeal cavity
With which she is unacquainted? Brace yourselves, people.
Folk have fainted at this disclosure. Strive to maintain
Your composure. My wild, sensation-seeking child,
With a consenting partner, was sitting in a pub
When she was asked to leave – for knitting!
I must confess that when she said “Hold me, daddy,”
And told me, I was in stitches. I laughed so much
I bust my britches, and she looked at them penitently
And whimpered, ” Can I sew them for you, ever so gently? ”
The poor kid’s crochet-hooked on yarn-based products.
She’s a fool for wool, a pushover for pullover patterns,
A slattern for tatting, an embroidery hoyden – and she’s not alone.
She only has to pick up a phone to unravel a whole skein
Of thread-heads, running a patchwork of internet chat rooms
Where they groom the unwitting into a total dependence
On knitting, an unsustainable greed for tweed.
Mind you, you gotta be hardy to survive in the sordid world of full Fair Isle
Cardy. Not for them the exquisitely stitched hem, the romance of
” Knit one, purl one. ” More a frantic clicketty-clack, flat on your back
And not an ounce of 4-ply. Addicts, wasted on worsted, rove Hove,
So bestial and rotten as to fleece old ladies for a single spool of cotton.
And the social cost of these lost souls is incalculable. When
They need a fix of mixed shades they’re reduced to visiting
Rough-trade haberdashers shops who can be relied upon not to call the cops.
Cast off by society, if they commit the impropriety of coming out
And parading their perversion in a pub or club, they risk a snub
From someone like the churl who told my girl, ” I don’t allow spitting,
And I don’t allow knitting! I know it’s crewel hard but, YOU’RE BARRED.”
© Peter Wyton
A note from Harvey that accompanied the transcription: For those who don’t know the UK, Brighton is on the coast just south of London and is the Gay Capital of the UK (Manchester may disagree with me here). Hove and Brighton share a border, and while it may appear that they are the same place, folk from Hove are often to be heard when asked ‘Do you live in Brighton?’ replying ‘No Hove Actually’. As a result Hove is often referred to as ‘Hove Actually’.