Login   Sign Up 


Ask Mr. Fry?

by Tina 

Posted: 19 September 2007
Word Count: 172
Summary: A rant - not great poetry - a summer spent reading stuff I cannot relate to and looking at whoopi art!

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

I blame Rothko
he of the huge canvas
cavernous blackness and blood red
after him the real whoopiness began
copulating neon signs fifty feet across
sheep in formaldehyde,
banal video, repetitious film,
even the filthy sheets from an AIDS victim.

Awe and wonder took to the streets
in black leather touting originality
proclaiming it ‘theatre’
and yet still we applaud?

‘Submissions:- forefront thinking is what we want
don’t send us worn out ideas’.

We all want to be acknowledged
five minutes of fame?
To associate ourselves with
‘the innovative and the new’

So it is summer,
time to read New Magazines
boasting the successes of the already successful.

Hopeful for the image that stops the breath
I found myself in a labyrinth of writing
searching for direction; finding none,
poetry without form
writing without sense
disappointment, anger
such an inadequate search for inspiration.

Who decides this is poetry or art,
is it genius or connection;
might it just be who you know?
Might it be time to give up?

Ask Mr Fry.

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

Ticonderoga at 11:04 on 19 September 2007  Report this post
BIG stuff!! Excellent.......though, perhaps, almost too much for one medium sized 'pome' to take..............
me being thick - which Mr Fry? Stephen?! or Roger (more likely)? or someone else?
Rather like my poem that you've just read, I think there may be two in here.....



Zettel at 13:52 on 19 September 2007  Report this post
nice rant Tina

you can always rely on Mr Fry to stir things up...

sorry about that
If you find

the image that stops the breath

be sure to post. however rare, it happens.



V`yonne at 15:53 on 19 September 2007  Report this post
might it be who you know?
Might it just be time to give up?

Well it's no one I know for sure and it may well be time to give up...especially on the poetry side...

me not you :)

joanie at 19:00 on 19 September 2007  Report this post
Hi Tina. I love the opening and closing lines! I like the quotes, too in italics. I can just picture that one.

I'm with Mike on 'Mr Fry'. My initial reaction was Stephen, but I feel like I ought to do a bit of research, which can't be a bad thing!

boasting the successes of the already successful

This is a great rant, Tina! Heart-felt and true.


typo: disappointment

Tina at 09:29 on 20 September 2007  Report this post
Hello all and thanks for your comments, I think it does us all good to have a rant now and again

Joanie I think you should start charging for proofreading typos - you are excellent thanks. (have changed it now). The quotes were real - sent to me this summer by a well known magazine.

Vyonne now no giving up - nil desperandum!

Mike - I think you might be right - maybe I'll have a sterio rant! Zettle for poems that stop the breath I go to Mary Oliver or Anne Sexton or Ted Kooser but hey - I'm just an old fashioned working girl lacking in original ideas (rant rant). Or what about this piece from Billy Collins ?

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means

I am sure he wont mind this direct quote being used for 'Arts' sake!!!!!

AND now to the Fry question - well sorry to disappoint you all - but it was Stephen Fry I had in mind - he of the poetry book on how to do it or not to do it - bearning in mind that a classical education at a 'good' school and the right connections will help! (more ranting)!

I think I best go now and have a lie down


James Graham at 22:15 on 20 September 2007  Report this post
'Poetry without form', 'writing without sense' - cultural pollution. There's a frightening amount of it on the internet. (Not, of course, on WW.) And 'forefront thinking'?...bollocks. When you rant about visual art, though, I do have a few wee reservations - not about the examples you choose, e.g. the sheep or some wearisome art videos I've seen a few seconds of, but about some other contemporary stuff, conceptual art, installations, that sort of thing. Some of that's ok, I think.

'Copulating neon signs fifty feet across' - what 'art' work is that? That I would like to see. On second thoughts, maybe not.

As for Mr Fry - as Bismarck said, 'Das ist der Mann!'


Tina at 22:33 on 20 September 2007  Report this post
Hi James and thanks for your post

Copulating neon signs - seen in the Stedelijk Amsterdam not so very long ago - Amsterdam - where else?? But don't et me wronmg I love modern art and some of the more unusual stuff but some things well they just leave me cold - that's what I am saying.

As for the poetry - when you read soemthing you can't understand you wonder who it is written for?

Mr Fry? Well, I guess he IS the man!

Zettel at 13:54 on 21 September 2007  Report this post
One demur to James

I think most of what Damien Hirst does now is simply corporate art. He's the late Pink Pink Floyd of aesthetics. He's a money machine. And the diamond skull is simply an obscenity.

However, the one piece of his that did have a enormouos impact on me when I saw it was almost his first well know piece - the sheep in formaldehyde. If thats the sheep you mean, I disagree - that was an extraordinary work of art. I don't know if you ever saw it but this absolutely perfect sheep captured, frozen for ever in an attitude of springing in the air carried all the implied kinetic energy of a real animal. Absolutely everything was there, the sense of movement, all the visual signals of 'sheepness' - the 'only' thing that was missing was LIFE. The impact of that was very powerful and as one who is at least a sceptical as the rest of you to much of modern 'art', I have to say this piece did resonate. Then of course he went on to do the same the same thing again and again with sharks etc etc. That seemed pointless to me. But that sheep was bloody amazing.

Tacey Emin's tent now......



Jordan789 at 16:38 on 21 September 2007  Report this post
I don't have time to offer a full close reading. However the Fry that came to my mind was Northrop Frye, sorry for the different spelling, and don't mind me ignoring the obvious mis-credit, however he wrote a book called Understanding Literary Criticism, or some such, where he writes a real, real lot on the art of criticism. Anyway, yeah. I'll be back to give a closer inspection.


To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .