kaberett: A sleeping koalasheep (Avatar: the Last Airbender), with the dreamwidth logo above. (dreamkoalasheep)
[personal profile] kaberett posting in [community profile] poetree
As you may or may not be aware, via Reddit there are poems about cows on tumblr. This beautiful thread combines an introduction to the source with some scathing -- and metrical -- meta.

Tonight I have been apprised of a riff on the theme referencing a popular children's nursery rhyme. A friend followed up with The Moonsheep (and the original German).

Which, of course, led me on to the following.

Lies | Jo Shapcott

In reality, sheep are brave, enlightened
and sassy. They are walking clouds
and like clouds have forgotten
how to jump. As lambs they knew.
Lambs jump because in their innocence
they still find grass exciting.
Some turf is better for tiptoeing
say the lambs. Springy meadows
have curves which invite fits
of bouncing and heel-kicking
to turn flocks of lambs
into demented white spuds boiling in the pot.
The there is the French style of being a lamb
which involves show and a special touch
at angling the bucking legs. Watch carefully
next time: Lambs love to demonstrate —
you won't have to inveigle.
Eventually, of course, lambs grow trousers
and a blast of wool
which keeps them anchored to the sward.
Then grass is first and foremost
savoury, not palpable.
I prefer the grown sheep: even when damp
she is brave, enlightened and sassy,
her eye a kaleidoscope of hail and farewell,
her tail her most eloquent organ of gesture.
When she speaks, it is to tell me
that she is under a spell, polluted.
Her footwear has been stolen
and the earth rots her feet.
In reality she walks across the sky
upside down in special pumps.


I'm never quite sure how much I like it -- I love the idea but something about the combination of not-quite-overwrought and not-quite-matter-of-fact doesn't work for me.

I would, naturally, be interested in both your thoughts and whatever livestock poetry you free-associate onto.

Date: 2017-02-26 11:19 pm (UTC)
serpentine: (Default)
From: [personal profile] serpentine
I'm just mostly glad that there are people who are writing about sheep as aware and not using them as metaphors for those who mindlessly go along with the crowd/herd.

Thank you because I read another poem today that relied on that over used metaphor and it just made me sigh sadly.

Chickens are also sadly maligned in metaphor even though chickens are small dinosaurs that /remember/.

Date: 2017-02-27 03:52 am (UTC)
raze: smiling owl and text 'every day is better with BIRDS!' (birds)
From: [personal profile] raze
Ooh I love these.

I like to include chicken symbolism in my own poetry. I wrote this one a while back:

Roo For You
For the official record:
were my mind as liberal
with expression
as my heart is
with affection
I would proclaim
my fondness
as a cockerel
greets the sun:
deep chested
full throated
unabashed.

That is to say:
I would crow
my adoration
at such volume
and duration
that the neighbors
would, in frustration,
cite town ordinances
on keeping poultry
to quiet my enthusiasm.

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