38 thoughts on “Selected Poems by Fiona Pitt-Kethley

  1. I have read the first four poems:
    Sky Ray Lolly
    Baby Doll
    Thoughts After a Burglary

    And I am struck by a new genre of daughterly feisty, Martian willy genre of free verse, compelling, female-Lawrencian like his Snake, and slightly not so much wordchip on the shoulder but off the block.

  2. THE FOX
    A title DHL used but …
    Not snake free verse but niftily sharp foxy rhyming couplets, and more father-daughter references and a comparison of fox and man.
    These are the sort of poems I enjoy. Word-textured and feistily crisp.


    “(I liked the geometry or our garden
    — first, the square washing-line that wouldn’t spin,
    then the two apple trees set in the lawn
    forming a triangle with the pear outside
    the circle of a fairy ring.)”

    A longer poem, a classic, I guess, full of idiosyncratic daughterly observations of even more idiosyncratic parents, particularly the father and his connection with those wearing mitres and the fallibilities of eccentrics through illicit sex and other mischance of character – or reading Poe, as the poet herself seems to have done? Assuming this is based on the theme and variations of real life?
    I felt dirtied by some of this, but all memories, whoever you are, are more often dirtied by hindsight and time, than not, I’d say. But hindsight never ends, the gestalt never clinched.


    …by girls at school, ankle socks or what? A stick-in-the-mind poem that insinuates down the page with enjambment. I’ll have to look back at it to see if it rhymed. Doubt it. Thank goodness.


    “and ice-white Chilly Willy lollies.”

    A hilarious theme and variations on a cellophane fish that emotionally curls… involving choice words on the coming of gender sex…
    A chilly day in real-time April, too, as I read this poem.


    “My school’s pool was politer.
    We had to empty our bladders first,…”

    This book is genuinely one whereby poetry would become popular if given access to readers who were made to read it first, before realising they are actually enjoying it. Seriously.
    You won’t forget this poem easily, those days when children in the 1950s, like me, wore floppy, sometimes knitted, cossies. The redolence of open pools and limbs.

    • Author’s interim comment elsewhere: “The Pic is of Sky Ray Lolly, Kindle Version. Another very accessible one. All my old work on Kindle or in Amazon paperbacks now as most was out of print.”
      I have still many poems to read in this Kindle of ‘Selected Poems’. Quite a find, so far.


    “its Scripture Room was always stuffed with knits”

    The mind boggles!
    Seriously, a great poem, stunning kaleidoscopically pungent language, deploying poetically the school, the community and social angles of charity doing with a retro feel of Richmal Crompton (William Brown) and Evadne Price (Jane Turpin).


    The next two poems seem to have titles that are hand in glove.
    Also the poet persuaded to be unbrainwashed Michelangelo, the artist’s pencil’s “caress” towards a lifestudy penis, or God’s towards Adam’s finger?


    A treatment of pretentiousness as being up your arse.
    The poet has not yet stumbled upon this review of her work, I guess.
    I have not heard any grumpy explosions or even cries of delight.
    Most writers love my famous gestalt reviews.
    Free verse themselves. With or without
    Enjambment. Or pretentiousness.


    “Superbly philistine, they saw each play
    In terms of overtime,…”

    I manhandle these poems for their own sake, checking each one off glibly for this review. They deserve better. If I earnt money doing this, I would make a better job of showcasing them, no doubt.


    I just read a poem, believe or not, about buying a vibrator in a shop, then relating it to a mandrake (John Donne’s? A screaming one?) and then having to show it to security at a cinema in case it is an IRA bomb!


    “Carrying canvasses is quite an art –”

    Blasė about posing for famous artists who like me have been made to old to do anything, white rhino then….

    Talking about men,,,

    “rode on velvet jackets, drowned in gin.”

    In the old days one wrote poems about such things under fridges.
    Now we do it on Facebook.


    “Next day’s papers
    lay in the great old stations, fresh with print.”

    A breathless evocation of land London’s streets around cinema and theatre, passing through time like the lad I once was who thought it was a great adventure the first time I could do it on my own. Now I am marooned safe at home amid my own internal night, a night just as risky as London at night?


    and yellow bird’s foot trefoil. Some cows
    looked on across a fence.”

    Bathos of seeking celebrity autographs upon their filming near a Kentish stately home.
    We are all human. We can too easily miss out a letter and let the ancient poet in us replace it with an apostrophe.

  15. Man, Woman and Superman
    “We were working in a cold November,”

    A poetic monologue about working as an extra on a Superman cinema film, including spotting or hearing about some geezer with more inside his outer underpants than normal. Super or sub.


    Two more engaging free verse slants from the point of view of a film extra.
    Enjambment, by the way, is for me like giving words an extra something, a plain bi-fork up the hessian skirt.

  17. LYING

    Ah, it’s free with blank minds!
    Role-playing during marital sex, where the alternative third-party role is inside one of the minds while the owner of the other mind truly acts out that mind’s owner him- or herself. Double-bluff or just two-timing together?


    “Last week I put my bollocks through a mangle,”

    And hard enjambment?

    Tyler Hoffman · 2001 :-
    “The end of hard enjambment signifies the girl’s attempts to erect barriers between herself and this erotic, transgressive force.”
    About a hard Frost poem, though seems.

  19. Trying Too Hard

    With all sincerity, probably an example of the primest modern blank verse –

    “Less obviously funny are the types
    who fiddle with your fasteners hopelessly
    like drunks at night getting a door undone,
    who blow in your ear in January,
    forgetting that all Nature’s doing the same,
    who pay over-efficient attention
    to your nipples as if they’re nuts and bolts
    which, once unscrewed, will make you fall apart.”

  20. AIDS

    The former, a poem of its time, very telling, ironically contiguous with the latter poem where a woman tells a man how to manipulate her best.
    Two poems that will stay with you however dated and past it the reader may become by the time the poems are read by that reader.

  21. Laryngitis
    I usually shun doctors (for you don’t know where their hands have been, though you can guess; and surgeries are full of the diseased. The coughers all have flu and bronchitis,…”

    Seem signifucant that I read the above poem today in the midst of the NHS winter flu crisis, and the doctor charged today with signing the livers he operated upon!
    Also, I can easily imagine this poet talking the socks off her old Religious Knowledge teacher!

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