Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! Are Persons People? - Poem by Michael Shepherd

and he says
you don’t write poetry to please people, you know
that’s with a comma after people
you write poems to please you
with shock lines like I still treasure
our first condom oh my love
to show that you’re cool and hip

but she says why write poems at all
if they don’t please people
men have such egos I suppose
it’s because they can’t have babies

but who are people anyway, how
many persons make a people or
how few persons and are they
a random mix or is there like
a recipe, some of this lot some of that

he says people who know about these things
like poetry but how do you know
which are the people who know
I’m not sure I know he knows for a start

and she says well ordinary people
so what then do you slide up
to a bus queue when there’s no
bus in sight and say look you’re
ordinary people I’ve been looking for you
yeah watch them give you a nasty look
and skedaddle pretending they remembered
they were due some place else

I’m beginning to wonder if people really exist
I mean as such but I’ll have to stop there
my PC says it’s run out of virtual memory
that’s another thing I don’t understand
maybe people are just a virtual memory too
I’m beginning to wonder if anyone knows
what *people* should think about poetry
maybe they should just write it throw it away
see who picks it up and not never nohow talk about
other *people’s* poetry

Comments about ! Are Persons People? by Michael Shepherd

  • (6/10/2007 4:12:00 PM)

    From the simplest questions comes the end of mankind. Dewey said something like: 'when someone starts to think, some part of the world is in danger'. On the face of it, strange words for a philosopher, but consistent I suppose with the view (hard to refute) that ideas have consequences. Rules are the problem though aren't they? There's always someone wanting to close the roads, brick up the windows, or build a little empire in their own image. And to complicate things slightly of course we have Mr Singer arguing persuasively (for some) that certain sentient, non-human creatures should be categorised as 'persons'. Who will write poetry for those persons? What kind of poetry will they appreciate - perhaps a very elemental brand, of the kind raised by your shock, contemporary merchants who write to serve the ordinary/normal. Aye, I suppose we need a few guidelines. For if we don't write poetry for those non-humant sentients we'll be guilty of speciesm. Koestler saw us as holons within a holography (good ideas on the balance between the self assertive and self transcendent in our make up by the way methinks - see the Ghost in The Machine, and you may have already) and I wonder if he would have classed all persons, people as equal holons, and therefore as having equal poetic needs and deserving of equal poetic treatment.... you started it... Time for you to draw up a list of guidelines Mr Shepherd! I always enjoy your quality poetic grapplings with issues great and small... it is such a pleasure to see a fine mind focus seriously on them - deploying humour with customary skill in the process... thanks again, jim (Report) Reply

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  • (6/5/2007 5:31:00 AM)

    Personally, I wonder whether people would take it personally if they were referred to as persons rather than people. (Report) Reply

  • (6/4/2007 2:35:00 AM)

    More importantly, how many persons are some people? (Report) Reply

  • (6/4/2007 2:18:00 AM)

    Ok - what gossip am I missing? ! Intriguing work M.... doesn't sound like your usual good self but ten out of ten anyway.... feeling humanitarian here... :) t x (Report) Reply

  • Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (6/3/2007 7:08:00 PM)

    Ahhhh...the chord-striking query of the week...Are persons people...and vice versa...and what deems a poem as accomplished, and if it is so deemed, does it maintain that elite status, ifit's author has never seen the inside of a college classroom...
    And finally, the most rational philososphy doth come from our sites very own good Shepherd...Where has thou been, these past days...I thought you were hired to protect me, from gettin' 'TOSSED'(despite your better judgement) ...Am i behind on payments? heh-heh-heh...
    One must write Poetry based soley on what THEY consider to be artistically complete, in terms of what they wanted to convey, and how the it was delivered...Popularity, though most ego-stroking to we men who have been de-privileged from bearing new life into our old world, must not be a consideration...for if we stray from our natural style, our niche... we might just as well all become ghost-writers, or market our work, by taking requests! BTW: This is not to infer that we shouldn't always have open ears and minds to concept, criticism, and modification, as one cannot pen good Poetry until they understand certain principles that follow good Poetry.Great Work, here, Michael...

    (Report) Reply

  • (6/3/2007 4:25:00 PM)

    Sean, I've changed the title... (Report) Reply

  • Trade Martin (6/3/2007 3:28:00 PM)

    Michael...., my compass faces North too..., but I believe everyone reads into his opinion in different ways.....! ! ! Best, T.M.. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, June 3, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, March 5, 2011

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