Friday, 9 April 2010


From the postman, that is; thanks to Friko, I've been introduced to one Gavin Ewart, and thanks to Amazon, his Selected Poems 1933-1988 plopped through my letterbox a while back. Diving straight in, I found this poem on page 13, and in view of my last offering, I decided to let you see it too.

Variation on a Theme of K. Amis
by Gavin Ewart

Sooner or later, most women poets
get locked in a lavatory with God.
Quietly they knit their little poems
receptive, contemplative and sad.

They are seldom raped by imagination
or highly excited or screaming for lovers
or drunk with the mad, leopard-spotted phrases;
Domestic virtues fit them like loose covers.

Perhaps words come to women too easily,
pouring out regardless like coffee or tea
or like the uncritical fountains in Renaissance palaces?
Nobody values what is given away free.

Can't wait to see what the Blogland reactions will be to this less than flattering description of women poets...


  1. Hello Jinksy,

    Well, I think it's a marvellous poem. The last stanza seems to be a (back-handed?) compliment.

  2. 'Domestic virtues fit them like loose covers.' I have read a number of vital women poets who offer much more than this.

    Agree with Derrick, the last line is powerful.

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  4. Brave lad, our Gavin, don't you think?

  5. I am thinking the nothing of value is free thought does not hold water any longer, but it may have been his reality decades ago.

  6. LOL! I love it! And it's so true! LOL! You are the exception of course!


  7. Sadly, Jinksy, there is more than a grain of truth in it. Wonderful poem. Maybe what women poets lack is testosterone.

  8. If we women lack testosterone then I wonder why I have me some balls? Ha! Gavin has simply been hanging around too many fainting swoony women.


  9. I think he was speaking about his generation of women maybe, or only those types he knew, or acknowledged, or just for the benefit of this poem, or he could have been teasing some woman poet he knew. I think it was a put down.

  10. Well..... I'm off to the lavatory to look for inspiration!

    Nuts in May

  11. All true! Except that I 'write' my poems pushing my shopping trolley! But that sounds even more senile than sitting on the loo! After all, everyone does that!

  12. P.S. If Gavin died in 1988 I don't suppose he was referring to Bloggers! We're a much more vital breed!

  13. Hmmm...don't know quite what to think...was his poem meant to be tongue-in-cheek? ~Janine XO

  14. Janine-
    I think the jury is still out on that one!

  15. Gavin Ewart missed an important point. Or maybe he preferred to ignore it. There are just as many men writing just as many poems that are "receptive, contemplative and sad." But at least he knew the difference(s) between poetry and prose cut up to look like a poem on the page.


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