Craig Raine, Humour, I like the way your elbows work. On hinges …, I like your eyes I like their fringes., I'd let you put insecticide Into my wine., I'd like to give you just the right amount and get some change, If you were something muttering in attics - hahahahahaha, John Fuller, Long but by gum it's thin, Lurve, Poetry, that thang, Tickled not pickled
(I’m late so far as the theme, I know, sue me (if you can find me)).This poem made me laugh loudly as though a goose huskily honking through the fog in a drain. Reading it again I’m positive I’ve read it before and lost it in the vaults of my brain – I do lose things like this, but rarely forever (as though I’d know – falls about – I do know though, for the Cloud tells me). It’s a jolly one, the favourite valentine poem of a poet named Craig Raine apparently.
In describing the poem he says it is “A transfixed inventory. Erotic hypnosis. The weight, as it were, of an eyelash.” Perfect.
The things about you I appreciate
May seem indelicate:
I’d like to find you in the shower
And chase the soap for half an hour.
I’d like to have you in my power
And see your eyes dilate.
I’d like to have your back to scour
And other parts to lubricate.
Sometimes I feel it is my fate
To chase you screaming up a tower
Or make you cower
By asking you to differentiate
Nietzsche from Schopenhauer.
I’d like successfully to guess your weight
And win you at a fête.
I’d like to offer you a flower.
I like the hair upon your shoulders,
Falling like water over boulders.
I like the shoulders too: they are essential.
Your collar-bones have great potential
(I’d like your particulars in folders
I like your cheeks, I like your nose,
I like the way your lips disclose
The neat arrangement of your teeth
(Half above and half beneath)
I like your eyes, I like their fringes.
The way they focus on me gives me twinges.
Your upper arms drive me berserk.
I like the way your elbows work.
On hinges …
I like your wrists, I like your glands,
I like the fingers on your hands.
I’d like to teach them how to count,
And certain things we might exchange,
Something familiar for something strange.
I’d like to give you just the right amount
And get some change.
I like it when you tilt your cheek up.
I like the way you not and hold a teacup.
I like your legs when you unwind them.
Even in trousers I don’t mind them.
I like each softly-moulded kneecap.
I like the little crease behind them.
I’d always know, without a recap,
Where to find them.
I like the sculpture of your ears.
I like the way your profile disappears
Whenever you decide to turn and face me.
I’d like to cross two hemispheres
And have you chase me.
I’d like to smuggle you across frontiers
Or sail with you at night into Tangiers.
I’d like you to embrace me.
I’d like to see you ironing your skirt
And cancelling other dates.
I’d like to button up your shirt.
I like the way your chest inflates.
I’d like to soothe you when you’re hurt
Or frightened senseless by invertebrates.
I’d like you even if you were malign
And had a yen for sudden homicide.
I’d let you put insecticide
Into my wine.
I’d even like you if you were Bride
Or something ghoulish out of Mamoulian’s
Jekyll and Hyde.
I’d even like you as my Julian
Or Norwich or Cathleen ni Houlihan.
If you were something muttering in attics
Like Mrs Rochester or a student of Boolean
You are the end of self-abuse.
You are the eternal feminine.
I’d like to find a good excuse
To call on you and find you in.
I’d like to put my hand beneath your chin,
And see you grin.
I’d like to taste your Charlotte Russe,
I’d like to feel my lips upon your skin
I’d like to make you reproduce.
I’d like you in my confidence.
I’d like to be your second look.
I’d like to let you try the French Defence
And mate you with my rook.
I’d like to be your preference
I’d like to be around when you unhook.
I’d like to be your only audience,
The final name in your appointment book,
Your future tense.