Thursday, 14 May 2009

Purple Ronnie

This name may not mean anything to you if you don't live in the UK. He is a little stick man character, appearing for the most part on greeting cards, his claim to fame being the witty rhymes his creator uses to accompany each drawing. According to the TV, Giles Andreae, who invented him, earns more money than any other English poet. The question was put forward - is it poetry?
I've just done a Google search and now know Giles went to Eton and Oxford, thanks to a Times Online article, which quoted him giving an example of his work.

'I want to say I love you
And you make my life complete
Except for all your bottom burps
And your stinky feet.'

'Poetry gets a very bad press, largely because it does have some navel gazers in it', he adds with ferocity. 'I am not a navel gazer, I use everyday language... Poetry can be populist as well as elitist.' I think I could agree with that opinion.
I'm pretty sure I give scarcely a glance a my navel. But then, I would feel a mite awkward actually designating myself a poet, as opposed to an ordinary bod with a poetic bent...Anyone asking 'Bent what?' will get a hearty reprimand.

Flicking through my blue patterned notebook which holds most of the collected poems of jinksy, I happened upon one which made me wonder whether it held a touch of the navel gazing, or simply a mite too much flowery language. Comments will no doubt winkle out the truth...

The Rose

A red rose in bloom,
'The colour of love,' you say.
Hold fast the image.

Crimson petals fall
like blood from a mortal wound.
to lie forgotten.

In the memory
their heady perfume lingers,
a hovering wraith.


  1. Love comes in all shapes and sizes.

    Thank you for your recent comments on my blog.

  2. Your poems smell nothing like bottom burps. :)

  3. No, not flowery at all, except for the subject matter. You are really good at haiku. I'm not.

  4. When the olde poetry was written it was in the days of olde speech. So poetry today CAN have all the new words written in. I think G.A has got it right, if he wants to attract the now generation to the love of poetry.

    Love, Ye Olde Granny

  5. Nothing wrong with navel-gazing, if the sentiments are heartfelt. Nothing wrong with whimsy, either. All of our written words are poetry. It's just that some people choose to display them in fashions that are more readily recognizable as such.

    Just my two cents, of course, and worth about 1 and 1/4 cents during the current economy.

    By the way, MY post today has roses (kind of) in the title, too!

  6. I'm with Suldog, but I did prefer the last verse to the first.

  7. I am always caught by your beautiful way with words. Naval gazing...hmmm...not always a bad thing!

  8. I gave up trying to figure out what is poetry and what isn't. Greeting card verses I put under poetic drivel.
    What you write like " The Rose" is poetry. But what do I know?

  9. Catching up on a lot of the old posts - loved the poem about different people having different viewpoints of the sun.

  10. I like doggerel, I like lyricism, I like narrative, I like nonsense, I like navel-gazing, I like star-gazing, I just like poetry.

    (And yours is great.)

  11. Forget the labels; I like the poem.

  12. The more you write poetry, the easier it becomes.


  13. I reckon Carol Ann Duffy will bring poetry into focus for lots of folk over the next few years...

  14. Brilliantly beautiful Penny :)

  15. I always like reading about flowers.
    Blessings, Star

  16. Oh, it all depends on what sort of mood I'm in. But I like to understand what the poet meant. I (think I) understand your poem. I fully understand the burpy bottom one ;-)

  17. Oh, I don't think there's navel gazing there at all. I think it's beautiful. Really. One of my favorites.

    I am all for the populist though. The elitists give me the willies.

  18. I love Purple Ronnie. And I consider it poetry. I love Keats, Byron, Wordsworth et al - and consider that poetry.
    I agree with Purple Ronnie - and you.

  19. There's a wee bit of navel gazing here (but I kind of like that kind of stuff!) but I have to admit I like your snarkier work. Much more personality!

    =) Great interview with Authorblog!

  20. Very nice. I would have to agree with Dr. John.
    It is a lovely poem...deep, conflicted...a wonderful painting of the velvet and the thorn involved in the Rose of love.
    Thank you for sharing,

  21. I like it too, Penny, without the 'wordiness' surrounding much poetry. I love nonsense poetry too. I used to always have to write poems for people leaving the bank (where I worked), which were really just a series of limericks! They made everyone laugh though.

  22. I love the thought of wraiths, and even the word, la Jinks! x


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