Sunday, 31 July 2022 10:06

Love and Politics: a tanka

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in Poetry
Love and Politics: a tanka

Love and Politics: a tanka

(Japanese extended haiku-like verse-form: 31 syllables in all; lines of 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 syllables, rhyming ababb)

1 (Love-Poet)

Love is life sublime!
So say we lovers, crooners,
We who’d spend our time
Banging dustbin-lids soon as
Strike up with you harsh tuners!

Give us the sweet stuff,
Love-songs, poems lyrical,
Not rough-house street stuff
Or verses satirical –
Why scant it, love’s miracle?

For god’s sake spare us
That Brechtian sermonising;
Don’t try to scare us
By all the time devising
Plans for the next uprising.

Just leave us piping
Those love-songs, lyrics graceful
Like ours, not sniping
Or letting fly a case-full
Of slogans in-your-faceful.

So here’s a handy
Tip from us: do please treasure
The love-struck dandy
Whose every lyric measure
Brings value-added pleasure.

2 (Activist-Poet)

Croon on, you luvvies!
Carry on cuddling, kissing;
‘Push-come-to-shove’ is
The one item missing
From all your commie-dissing.

You lyric poets,
Spare us your love-clamouring;
Surely you know it’s
The bother-boots hammering
That message, ‘quit yammering!’.

Sure, better tucked up
In bed with your darling-hearts,
Not getting sucked up
In it when the snarling starts,
Or batons on body-parts.

Just spare us a thought,
Us anti-fascist fighters,
When we’re up in court
And those race-hate inciters
Go free as lyric-writers!

Just know, we’re taking
The flak while you continue
With your love-making,
And that only our sinew
Holds back the thug who’d chin you.

So, love-bird, let it
Sink in: you’re perching
In Cloud Nine, get it?,
And all your deep soul-searching
Won’t stop the branches lurching!

Read 1378 times Last modified on Sunday, 31 July 2022 10:09
Chris Norris

Christopher Norris is Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy at the University of Cardiff. He is the author of more than thirty books on aspects of philosophy, politics, literature, the history of ideas, and music.