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Assay of Blood and Gold: London Poems

Assay of Blood and Gold: London Poems  Author: Mary Coghill Assay of Blood and Gold: London Poems

Author: Mary Coghill

Published June 2017

The theme of these poems is gold. Gold is understood to be a prime motivation in a metropolis. The poet understands that there is a harsh dividing line between life and the motivation of greed and profit. But human existence in these poems is just above the surface not below it. The A-Z listing is the index to the London city map but the destinations arise for different reasons. The poems can therefore be read in any order, they are all separate journeys, there many starting points, destinations, searches and resolutions.

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ISBN 978-0-9573510-1-1
Categories: city, poetry
Published: June 2017
210 x 145 x 7mm
80 pages
Publisher: City of Poetry Ltd

Who is the poet of the city? What does the poet perceive? What do the past and future hold? In these city poems the various destinations are expressed through politics, satire, banks, luxury high-rise flats, persecution, the courts, media tactics the impact of kindness, light and darkness. The poet gives voice to the unpredictable human life within the city. Gold might be a controlling motivation but the humans have unpredictable responses to gold. These poems express a range of strong and vehement emotions and construct a living reality. The footnotes are there to avoid any plagiarism. The poems can be hard to read. Any city dweller will understand that this is an accurate interpretation. Leave the difficult poems if you just want to keep it light, keep it ‘natural’, pretend you don’t live in a city...

‘The streets shall be our brushes/ the squares our palettes’. This is a quotation from the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (Marshall, H (1933/4) Mayakovsky and His Poetry Chiswick, London, Pilot Press). In a development of this imagery, the buildings are our form and the broken sentence structures our disconnected sense of time under pressure. The form of these poems looks familiar – stanzas, regular syllabic lines, left margin justification. The sentence structure is fluid leaving the reader needing to double read the lines backwards and forwards so that the full meanings emerge. The poem structures reflect the city structure, its buildings, bridges and streets. The fluid sentences reflect the double-takes that city dwellers perform every day, every hour in order to juggle and make sense of events within the combination of time and memory in city life. The frequent pronouns ‘I’ and ‘you’ are not counterbalanced by ‘they’ and ‘them’. These poems are a personal dialogue with a strong sense of engagement.

How does city poetry use the metaphoric or metonymic forms? The metaphoric is expressed through a combined ideation – one thing is another. The metonymic is expressed through a contiguous or sequential ideation (see Roman Jakobson) – one this as another, or as well as another. If the city is gold then this is a metaphor, if it is as gold then this is a metonym. If the poem is saying – this city is as gold but it is ice gold – then ‘Ice Gold’ (see the poems) is a metaphor within a metonymic relationship. ‘Blood’ is metonymic, it stands as part for whole – ‘blood’ represents the human body. As such it is a synechdochic metonym. But if life in the city is bloody, even fatal (see the poems) then this is neither metonymic nor metaphoric it is literal. The city, the assay – the assault, the trial of mettle – and the blood are real.

City poets are especially important as inspiration for these poems. My grateful thanks go to (amongst others) Anna Adams, David Jones, Anna Robinson, Rosemary Tonks and Sarah Wardle. MAC 5.2017

A - Z Contents

Alembic City Sun
A Random Assembly of Gold
Consider Just One Static
Dark Gold Chameleon
Double Jeopardy
Dust of Gold
Embers in the Snow
Fools’ Gold
Give a thing and take a thing…
‘Glorious is the Princess Within,
Gold Embroidery is her Clothing’
Gold Dust
Gold Mine
Golden Reflections
Gold! Gold! Gold!
Gold Rules I
Gold Rules II
Gold Spoon
How is the Gold Become Dim
Ice Gold
It Can Slip
Katherina in Pyx Court
Last Lines
Lex Aurandi
Make a Bridge of Gold
Men of Athens….
mud stream gold
Noctiluca Citizens
Ordinary Weight in Gold
Passage of Gold Again
Prepare for Looting ... Prevent/
Protest Gold
Rapid Exchange
Sedated by software
She of the Golden Impact
Shields of Gold
Star Walker in Love Ad
Stone Gold
Streaming Time
Streets where the Sun is Beaten
The Dark Night
The Devil’s Gold Ring
The Golden City I
The Golden City II
The Golden City III
The Intaglio
Time Has no Space
Tomorrow’s Gold
Wings of Gold
Word City Goldly

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