Last week, the Guardian newspaper was giving away a seies of poetry pamphlets. There were selections from T S Eliot, Sylvia Plath, and Philip Larkin, among others, but I was dismayed to note that they did not include Dennis Beerpint.
The twee versifier has been rather quiet of late, so I was pleased to learn that a new book is in the works. For the last year, apparently, Beerpint has been busy with a project entitled Imperfectly-Remembered Mitteleuropean Folk Songs In Translation. He has collected at least four or five examples, enough for a characteristically slim volume of verse.
Under cover of darkness, Pansy Cradledew smashed her way into Beerpintâ€™s so-called â€œpoetry hutâ€ and managed to steal Gestetnered copies of a couple of the pieces, so we can give readers a sneak preview. The first is called â€œThe Shepherdâ€™s Lamentâ€:
There is a shepherd in the hills / There is a [something] green / But black is the crow in the [something] tree / And lightning blasts the sky / The shepherd’s lass has golden hair / She [something something] milk / But the crow has flown away, my love / And the ducks have left the lake.
Marvellous. And here is the second one, which seems to be untitled:
As I roamed the bosky verdance / Upon a summer morning / [Something something] gravel pits / And O my love was [something]. / Entwined in posies [something something] / I heard the sound of gunfire / Then [something] over by the cowshed / Upon a summer morning. / Tra la la and fol de rol / The geese are all a-[something] / My pig has got his hat on / And Iâ€™ll see you in the gloaming.
Fantastic. I expect the editor of the Guardian will be kicking himself that he neglected to include Dennis Beerpint in the series.
Allow me to draw on my vast repertoire of traditional songs to fill in the gaps of these two examples…
In no particular order:
Are not the lacunae an essential part of the poetry?