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Lyrpole and the Jarg Flim: A Sort of Translation of the Seafarer.

I was working on a collection called Zenzizenzizenzic for a while. I even sent it out to publishers and they sent it back. Then my computer exploded and I lost about 25% of Zenzizenzizenzic.I became absent from the act of writing poetry then.  Even though I’m an editor, when it comes to my feelings about poetry, poetry in Britain to be specific, I quite easily become disheartened and annoyed.  It’s a very particular type of world is poetry. I’d be blunt and say it’s a very middle class world but as the majority of poets are from that class and there’s a sense of an Old Boys Club going on (in that there’s a lot of chin wagging and shoulder rubbing and don’t we all get on) I might risk a back lash. Of course people don’t like to be told they’re part of something. So I won’t say that poetry is middle class, I’ll say instead that it’s exclusive. There’s an idea that poetry is democratic but that’s not true, not in my experience anyway. It’s not about writing something and that’s it, there are other factors at work. As someone who is trying to run a press I can distance myself from all that and instead focus on trying to get good poetry read, trying to get good poetry heard in Liverpool. Being a poet and running a press are separate and I see poetry in two different lights through that. But after Zenzizenzizenzic almost died and my annual poetry-apathy passed I resisted retyping the lost poems from their original hand written beginnings. Instead I decided to translate The Seafarer.  But I don’t have the necessary linguistic skills to do that so I thought I’d do it as more of a half translation/half elusive translation. In some parts of what I began to write The Seafarer is more of a jumping off point for ideas.  There’s a narrative in Lyrpole and the Jarg Flim just as there is in The Seafarer but as I write the poem it’s becoming more of a poem that’s talking about the world now, the mess of it, the places I know, mythologizing the city I live in, looking out to cities I don’t live in. One point though. I recently had a rejection stating that my poems were better when they didn’t self mythologize. None of the poems I sent were about me or in any way self mythologized so I’ll make it clear that the I in Lyrpole and the Jarg Flim isn’t me. And also Lyrpole is an archaic word for Liverpool, Jarg is Scouse slang for fake, Flim is Scouse slang for £5.


About michaeleganpoetry

Liverpool based poet and editor. I have had four pamphlets of poetry published, most recently After Stikklestad (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2010). Penned in the Margins published my first collection, Steak & Stations, in 2010.

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