Sunday, December 5, 2010

Poetry Bus - inspired by a pub

This week Poetikat's instruction, as bus driver extraordinaire, was to take the name of a pub and write a witty and fun poem inspired by the title. Click here for the rest of the passengers.
I chose Nancy Spains in Cork, my fondest memory of pub life going back to the days of the late 90's spent there, a pub whose front was interestingly blackened and "distressed" in order to allow it to be part of the film "Angela's Ashes" and whose back side was burnt to the ground some years later.
So anyway, many's the happy (drunken) Sunday evening we passed there, and it's the only pub I was ever barred from, and it's also the only pub I ever sent a postcard to (not at the same time) - and the toilet doors were always well worth a read.

I decided to do some research - in order to write this hilarious witty poem. I knew the name was after a song... I've just found out however, that the song is classed as describing an emotional state known in Portugese and Galician as Saudade
"a somewhat melancholic feeling of incompleteness. It is related to think back situations of privation due to the absence of someone or something, to move away from a place or thing, or to the absence of a set of particular and desirable experiences and pleasures once lived"
Pretty sad right? I'm not sure I can write something that'll have ye on the floor laughing having just discovered this, so here goes something:


We had a complicated relationship
You saw me go from west coast coolers
to big bottles of cider
that'd tear the insides
if they weren't so tough

I fell off your tables
people fell onto me
friendships made in the haze
mice ran up the walls
and you played the best music

there'd be cartoons on
and a fire going
and every table held a spinning wheel
trees held the place up
and strangers made eyes

On my 21st birthday
Dad bought 90p pints*
for everyone in the snug at the back
my brother surprise tripped
home from US talking of new love
a girl now his wife

I daren't go back to you
for oh, how you've changed
and me, insides softened
- blurred memories stay

* the 90p pints were part of a beat the clock promotion - ie they were 90p till 8pm, then 1 pound till 9pm and then up to normal price, in case ye thought I was ancient or anything, cos I'm really not that ancient.


The Bug said...

This is lovely. I think you've definitely reflected the meaning of the name very well - I feel some melancholy after reading it :)

Helen said...

Your Nancy Spains sounds like my kind of pub ~~~ and reminds me of the one and only time I was kicked out of a bar!

120 Socks said...

Great poem, full of wonderful descriptions, including lots of family and crazy memory type ones. We all need at least one pub to have been kicked out of! Sounds like you picked a good one.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Classic!Lovely! And Nancy Spain is one of my favourite songs...sob!

Ps thought your dad bought ninety pints on first reading!!

Rachel Fox said...

I do remember 90p pints!
What's the spinning wheel thing all about?

Kat Mortensen said...

Niamh, now I have to go and write something more wistful about my old haunt.

I never had a true pub to really hang out in, but wish so much that I had. You made me wish for it even more. (I DO know all about those haze-made friendships, mind you.)

Did mice really run up the walls?
The Kat must know!

Got you in my sidebar now.

Niamh B said...

Thanks Bug! Fitted nicely alright.
Helen, sounds like a story for tellin?!
Thanks Socks, think it picked me!
Ah yes, TFE, he was so excited about the price, he practically force feeding people! But probably not 90 pints!
Rachel - the tables were all ex-sewing machines with a cast iron pedal and wheel that spun when you pressed it with your foot.
Kat, they did! At least I think they did, at least once. The funny thing was there was also a great huge painting on the opposite wall with a picture of a drunk watching a pair of mice getting married and rubbing his eyes. Thanks for the tkt, sorry I didn't manage funny!

Titus said...

Oh, that's just a great poem. Love the personification of the pub, and very saudade.

chiccoreal said...

Dear Niamh: Love the way you personified the poem with a distinct personal feel; especially

"I fell off your tablespeople fell onto mefriendships made in the hazemice ran up the wallsand you played the best music"

Don't you get kicked out for doing that?
Oh it an allegory! Safe bet!Love it!:)

Conor said...

Happy days, I remember we tried to take one of those tables home one night under my coat, we didnt get 5 feet...

Trellissimo said...

A few sobering thoughts in this one! LOL :)

NanU said...

Mice! sounds like they needed a pub cat or two. Great poem. Makes me think I really missed out on something never even coming close to being banned from a pub. Is it too late to try?

Niamh B said...

Thanks Titus! :-) and Chicco!
Conor, shocking behaviour, in fairness they were very heavy tables
Thanks Trellissimo, and welcome
NanU, pub cats would have been well fed on that particular night, but that could also have been my imagination.
It's never too late :-)

Peter Goulding said...

You've done this very well - lots of differing emotions in there - nostalgia, regret, melancholia. And how we regret those softened insides...

Dave King said...

That has a little bit of everything. Delightful.

Enchanted Oak said...

How'd you get barred from such a cozy place where people fall all over each other? It sounds like a nice pub to get besotted with others.
You handled the tone just beautifully, bittersweet and all.