Poems from the Anthology

A number of my poems are in the ‘Leeds Writers’ Circle Anthology 2011′.
These two were read at the launch.
It is quite a strange experience to be sitting in the audience while other people read your poems. Particularly, given that my poems are all written for my own voice, when they are read by females. They both did a terrific job. As did every body involved in the launch – it was a really enjoyable occasion.

Park Square

A small oasis set within the city,
some grass, some flowers and many, many trees.
Surrounded as it is by office buildings,
a place where I can sit and take my ease,

And then, from out of nowhere, came a squirrel
disappearing up a tree with little fuss.
It can’t have walked along the streets to get here.
I wonder if, in fact, it took a bus.

Yeadon Tarn

A circle of clear water,
its surface smooth, unruffled,
reflecting clouds overhead

broken only by a rock
protruding at its centre,
ugly, incongruent,

occupied from time to time
by a white duck with attitude,
surrounded by his harem

declaring by his stance:
‘This is my rock, my pond,
you are an intruder – Quack off.’

Further details of the Anthology can be found at  http://valleypressuk.com


24 Responses to “Poems from the Anthology”

  1. Hi David,

    nice to see what they read at the launch yesterday, they are both very good poems, the first one I love the rhythm as well as the lines and the finish 🙂 which made me smile. Squirls, we don’t have them on the island, but they are fun to watch 🙂

    The second poem is also a description with a twist in the end, to leave the reader smile, I love that concept! Yeadon Tarn, is that the name of this lake? “Quack off!” lol . This duck with an attitude is lucky he hasn’t ended up as a canard á lorange! 🙂

    I can imagine it was odd to have your poetry read by this lady 🙂 I suppose that wouldn’t work with all poems!

    The only time I ever heard a poem of mine read out loud, was on a UK radio broadcasting, by a man who made many mistakes lol I sank in embarresment. But reading them my self for an audience would be even more scary. I think that is the summum of brave!

    I would like to buy the book, so I will see how I can do that.

    I tried to find some news reports on this launching, but I couldn’t find any, only announcements of the event.

    Much love and a big hug 🙂


    • Thank you Ina,

      The launch was real good fun to attend – all those involved did a really good job.

      I like poems which are fun to read and fun to write, which is, I guess, why they were chosen 🙂

      Reading my own poems to an audience is always scarey in prospect, but enjoyable once it begins. The various poetry groups I go to give me practice at reading. Perhaps when your book comes out you will get the opportunity to read them to an audience. Let me know if that happens because I would love to be there. 🙂

      Much love and a big hug to you too 🙂


  2. What an interesting experience! I actually think that both these poems, particularly the latter, would be most effective when read in a female voice. I think, in the case of the second poem, because the final line would somehow be more unexpected, and perhaps, therefore funnier, if read by a woman.

    I can absolutely see why these two were chosen for reading aloud – I’m sure they got a very positive reaction.

    I don’t often catch Poetry Please on Radio 4, but I’m sure that poems written by men have been read by women and vice versa. It would be interesting to know how and why the choice is made.

    • At the launch of my last book I had some friends (male and female) read some of the poems
      But on that occasion I had chosen which poems each person would read.
      This time I had no idea until the performance took place.

      Sometimes a whole different perspective on a poem becomes apparent when someone else reads it!! 🙂

      Both poems went down extremely well and I tend to agree with your view that the second one is probably funnier when read by a female 🙂


  3. It must have been a great night for you David, and many more of them.

    I like this part best

    ‘This is my rock, my pond, you are an intruder – Quack off.’

  4. “Quack off” made me smile … am so glad are having experience of the readings. must be something else! one thing on your works, David — is i note the similarities to Robert Burns; where metaphor is not ‘shoved on’ a person, but rather offered as possibility for a mind in quest of more.


  5. Oh David, I have laughed out loud for the first time this week!! 🙂

    Congratulations on having these two read aloud at the launch; a great achievement and I am so proud of you! 🙂

    I love the image of he squirrel on a bus! And also “a small oasis set within the city” certainly describes that place beautifully.

    I can equally visualise the scene in the second poem as we have walked together around the tarn on many occasions, each one including your mimicking of “the duck”. I think he is quite fond of you in his own sweet way! 🙂

    Two great poems!!

    Love you lots



    • I am delighted Christine to have made you laugh.
      I take that as a great compliment given the week you have had.

      It is a few years now since we have been to Yeadon Tarn, but the last time I went the white duck was still there 🙂

      Love you lots

  6. Hi David,

    Congratulations! I’m so very happy for you 🙂 and very proud of you.
    I’m glad too you had such a lovely evening at the launch. 🙂

    Two very worthy poems. I like both equally. I’m left with very amusing images of squirrels catching buses and ducks with attitudes. “Quack off.” Love it! 🙂

    I’m glad you enjoyed the performances of your poems. It must be quite an experiance having people read your work. 🙂

    I’m glad to hear your toothache is receding and I hope you continue to do well. 🙂
    Thanks for the smile. 🙂


  7. Hi David, two very funny poems. Congratulations on having them read out. May there be many more.

  8. midaevalmaiden Says:

    It had not occured to me that a poem out loud would be different than read silently, and then the man, woman difference. Interesting. I first learned to love poetry by hearing it read out loud. I think it takes a certain skill to know when to pause, and when to emphasize and if doen correctly can give the words life even more so than when simpy read.

    Quack off- hahahaha I liked it. That duck is like many a human I have known. Ruffling his feathers with self importance, surveying his kingdom despite that it is simply just an eye sore of a rock. 🙂

    • Hi Sara,

      Perhaps it is my Irish heritage, but I believe that poetry is written to be read out loud rather than read on the page. When I write a poem I always try it out by reading it out loud to myself to check that it works the way I intended. Thus my poems are written for my own voice. When someone else reads them, whether man or woman, they will read them with their voice which often can put a different slant on the poem. It is always fascinating to listen closely when that happens. 🙂

      Some of my poems have been recorded – you can find them at http://youtube.com/user/DavidAgnewpoet

      • midaevalmaiden Says:

        Cool, now that I have heard your voice, when I read your poems they sound completely different in my mind from how they used to sound.

      • Which I guess is what I was trying to say Sara.

        I hope you enjoyed the listen. Thank you for doing that


  9. Smiling!! Your humor, and brilliance, are present here!! I almost feel, I know you, at times!! Hugs!!

  10. David,

    Congratulations! These are lovely poems. I really enjoyed them. “Park Square” had wonderful rhythm and made me laugh. “Yeadon Tarn” – I envisioned the whole scene perfectly. I was right there with you and that bastard duck.


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