02 September, 2006

My Heroes: (14) Fiona Pitt-Kethley


Who? Well she's a feminist poet whose work I used to buy in the 80's and who, now, like so many poets, can't get published even though her books sold in large quantities and were well publicised at that time. Doesn't sound promising does it? Her first successful collections were Sky Ray Lolly (1986) and Private parts (1987) and I have reproduced one of her poems below. She writes novels now, I think, and has gone to live in Spain. She managed to be funny, incisive and serious, sometimes all at the same time.
Headaches
Men are the ones that have the headaches now.
Back in my mother's day, when girls said no
most of the time, they were after it -
or so they said - in pain with their erections.
But now we call their bluff by answering yes -
the truth is out - they want it less than us.
Most of my female friends are on the pill,
willing, good-looking too. What do we get?
Men who can't quite make up their tiny minds.
The bastards are all Marvell's-mistress-coy,*
perhaps insane, certainly undersexed.
What can the problem be? Are they afraid
of pregnancy or rape? Or is it just
that men fear sex is like a driving test
where they must get every bit right or fail?
Two men fell laughing through our chemist's door.
One said he'd like some pills, something to give
his friend. 'What's wrong?' the chemist asked the man.
'He hasn't had a girl at all for weeks.'
'That's normal, sir!' Too right it is, I thought.
From 'Private Parts' Chatto, 1987

89 Comments:

Blogger Beethoven said...

"The bastards are all... "

The second I see that tell-tale "all", I know that you are just as biased, self-serving and mindless as any other group seeking power. Mass-categorization doesn't work if one's looking for equality.

Saturday, September 02, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Beethoven: Hi, thanks for the comment. I'm sorry but I just don't understand you what you are saying. Are you addressing the poet or me? If you are speaking of the poet, then do you mean to say that the 'power seekers' are a)feminists, b)poets, c)women or d) someother group.
I don't think you have read the post properly or understood the poets meaning and if you did then you are just plain wrong. How is she 'seeking power'?
Anyway, thanks for the visit, feel welcome to come back!

Saturday, September 02, 2006  
Blogger Vive42 said...

thanks for tipping me to this poet, i hadn't heard of her.

as for my stuff, well, i'm well aware that truly quality poetry could use a bit more work than just putting down whatever comes into my head in the morning/late at night. so when things come out well i'm glad but i know it's more crap than not. just don't tell my fanbase ;)

Saturday, September 02, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

I just got an e-mail from Fiona Pitt-Kethley in Spain, wishing me 'all the best'! (Swoons).
Thanks for your visit Vive, you are too modest.

Saturday, September 02, 2006  
Blogger jim said...

I think I will go check-out Vive, sounds interesting.

This poet, this poem, could stand tall as a perfect symbol of the period between the 60s and now, precisely as she says, she hits the thing right on the head, lol.

Wow, and an email from the hand itself, how lucky to be you Bazza.

I will have to explore here a bit more, but like she says, it will take me some time to get up to it, and then I may put it off a bit, lol. Just kidding, I am interested, she has written very sharply, cuttingly and she carves the meanings with few words, I like her.

Thanks Bazza. Glad to know you.

Saturday, September 02, 2006  
Blogger Cornealius said...

I really like your blog bazza. Lots of intersting bits and peices and very nice spacious layout. Reading feels like giving my brain a breath of fresh air.

Sunday, September 03, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Jim: "She carves the meaning with few words". That's a good comment, I think. She can be very blunt sometimes but it's always compulsive reading, often funny, reading.

Cornealius: Thank you for that comment; the feeling is mutual.

Sunday, September 03, 2006  
Blogger Deepak Gopi said...

hallo Sir,
Your post is one of the most informative post in the blogsport.
I am gaining a lot of knowledge about Britian and its beauty through your post.I am hearing abut that poet for the first time.
now we are celebrating Onam on 4,5,6 & 7.May I please invite you to celebrate onam ith other Keralites all over the world.

Sunday, September 03, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

Her style seems about right for the Thatcher era.

Sunday, September 03, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Deepak: Thank you for the invitaion to celebrate, which I accept. You are a great ambassador for you country (and yourself!)

Rob: As I have said elsewhere, all art is informed by the age in which it is created.

Sunday, September 03, 2006  
Anonymous Emily McCombs said...

Hi! I am trying to get in touch with Fiona Pitt-Kethley in hopes of interviewing her for a BUST Magazine article on sex and travel. I would appreciate any help you can offer - my email is misanthropegirl@aol.com. Thanks!

xoxo
Emily

Wednesday, January 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just emailed you, Emily. I am still writing as well if not better as in former days, but I am finding it hard to find publishers or an agent at the moment. I live in Cartagena, Spain.
Fiona Pitt-Kethley

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