Members’ Area: ‘The Skills of Writing Non-Fiction’ with Author, Donald Reid – 4th November 2020

 

 

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With grateful thanks to Donald for reminding us of the delightful poems by Robert W. Service.

Here’s one for the Readers –

I keep collecting books I know
I’ll never, never read;
My wife and daughter tell me so,
And yet I never heed.
“Please make me,” says some wistful tome,
“A wee bit of yourself.”
And so I take my treasure home,
And tuck it in a shelf.

And now my very shelves complain;
They jam and over-spill.
They say: “Why don’t you ease our strain?”
“Some day,” I say, “I will.”
So book by book they plead and sigh;
I pick and dip and scan;
Then put them back, distressed that I
Am such a busy man.

Now, there’s my Boswell and my Sterne,
my Gibbon and Defoe;
To savor Swift I’ll never learn,
Montaigne I may not know.
On Bacon I will never sup,
For Shakespeare I’ve no time;
Because I’m busy making up
These jingly bits of rhyme.

Chekov is caviar to me,
While Stendhal makes me snore;
Poor Proust is not my cup of tea,
And Balzac is a bore.
I have their books, I love their names,
And yet alas! they head,
With Lawrence, Joyce and Henry James,
My Roster of Unread.

I think it would be very well
If I commit a crime,
And get put in a prison cell
And not allowed to rhyme;
Yet given all these worthy books
According to my need,
I now caress with loving looks,
But never, never read.”

And one for the Writers –

I have no doubt at all the Devil grins,
As seas of ink I spatter.
Ye gods, forgive my “literary” sins —
The other kind don’t matter.

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