February 01, 2008

Poetry Friday: A Blood-Nipt, Greasy Foulness

This is a winter poem.

It uses the words 'foul' and 'staring,' and mentions blood and greasiness. For those reasons, I simply adore it.

When I quit trying to win prizes as Perky Positive Girl, UK, I note that the wind last evening was up to gusts of 50 mph and I got home exhausted, battered and soaked to my knees and the S.O. trod in some kind of hideous puddle that left his socks sopping, and the so-called "rain" was solid and stinging pellets of ice, and my winter coat is now so huge (a good thing, weight loss, but an annoying thing when you're in the mood to be annoyed) it's a virtual sail, and my scarf flipped up completely over my head, obscuring my view while I was creeping down icy stairs -- and the wind pinned the door to the stoop and I couldn't close it, then changed direction and ripped it out of my hands... well, last night I caught myself muttering "Tu-whit! Tu-whoo!"

Thus, I give you:

by the incomparable and beloved William Shakespeare

WHEN icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail;
When blood is nipt, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Tu-whit! tu-whoo! A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all around the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw;
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl—
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Tu-whit! tu-whoo! A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Ways are foul! Blood is nipt! 'Tis the last throes of a really cold winter storm, but all inside are safe and warm. If you'd like to further keel the pot of poetry, visit The Blog with the Shockingly Clever Title. Cell photo was taken last night at Glasgow Uni, those lovely arches make an amazing wind tunnel.


Sara said...

You would not believe it---they're starting school here two hours late, and all it's doing is RAINING. Of course, I did have to push a queen mattress and boxsprings to the curb in that rain because they are only fit for the trash after the Salvation Army refused them. If only I had read your "Tu-whit! Tu-whoo!" first---then I could have thought on keeling and foulness and greasy Joan while I pushed.

P.S. Your coat is too big? How much wasting away have you done???

Tricia said...

When I read this poem I think how easy we have it. Imagine this dressed in Elizabethan garb! I know that doesn't make you feel any better, however.

The photo is lovely, though I feel your pain in regards to the wind tunnel effect.

May brighter days be ahead of you.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Wow! That's a great photograph--and you've added Shakespeare to boot. We've had pretty mild temperatures in Massachusetts this winter--only a few days when "milk would be frozen in a pail."

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Holy cow that's a cell photo? Fantastic! Amazingly enough we are having exactly the same weather here. We'll all be muttering "Tu-whit! Tu-whoo!" round the globe today.

Karen Edmisten said...

What a great post -- great piece of poetry -- great photo. Great Bill. I have always loved this. No one can conjure an image like Shakespeare.

(Except, Sara, perhaps a properly goaded ape?)

And, btw, I wish my coat were too big.

tanita✿davis said...

How much wasting away? Sara darling: not enough.

Yes Tricia, I always imagine this weather in Elizabethan garb... cold and foully wet, leggings full of fleas, hair full of lice, and of course, greasy Joan.

Good times.

jama said...

Tu-whit, Tu-whoo to you, too! What a great poem and photo. Glad you're inside now, cozy and warm. Loved my dose of Shakespeare. Thanks!

Jules at 7-Imp said...

This is great to read on a cold, wintery morning, though if it's going to be cold, please, can we just have some SNOW and not just drizzly rain? My almost-four-year-old is dying for some snow already.

Jules, 7-Imp

Anonymous said...

Listen, perky positive girl. This is enough foul greasiness to cheer up the worst of us. I shant complain all day...

Anonymous said...

Listen, perky positive girl. This is enough foul greasiness to cheer up the worst of us. I shant complain all day...

christine M said...

Cold nasty rain here - and that poem certainly sums it all up. Fantastic - and a great photo too!

Anonymous said...

The thing is, all that cold and wind and ice pellety awfulness sounds romantic when one is sitting inside a heated house in suburbia. Just like the moors sounds so lovely in Wuthering Heights.

And yet, I can't help but think that when "Dick blows his nail" it means that he completely loses it (whether that's what Will intended it to mean or not), and I can certainly see why.

Wishing you warmth and dryness today.

P.S. - the confirmation word I have to type is "fiduko", which sounds as if it should be the next wave of word/number puzzles, I'm thinking

Unknown said...

I was so longing for some Shakespeare! You filled my longing so nicely and the photo is gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. Sending you some warmth from sometimes sunny California and a big hug.


Mary Lee said...

Maybe I wouldn't mind our ice-pelty winds so much if I had some very old carved arches to walk through...medium midwestern US city is seeming pretty bland right now.

Vivian Mahoney said...

I love the photo and the image of your coat as a virtual sail. Here's to warm days ahead!