Matt Harvey, the Kipper and the Kenning in the style of Matt Harvey, the Kipper and the Kenning ….. almost ….. or as close as I can

Wow! Teignmouth’s second Poetry Festival has just finished. It has been fantastic; congratulations to Ian, Ronnie, Jenny, Graham, Virginia for organising such an inspiring event.

Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey

The Festival opened with the Totnes-based performance poet, Matt Harvey. Matt’s way with words has taken him from Totnes to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships via Saturday Live, the Edinburgh Festival and the Work section of the Guardian. He has been described by the Scotsman as “One of the country’s finest performance poets”, by the Independent as “Very funny…” and by the Guardian as “…not only funny, but tender and true”.

After last year’s Festival I wrote a poem about the event called “The Poet Clan”. I thought I’d do the same this year and used Matt Harvey’s opening performance as the basis for this. Perhaps this is the start of a tradition!

It’s about Matt, a poem he recited which had some resonance for me – “Kippers for Life, and a word he introduced which I hadn’t heard before – “Kenning”.

Here it is:

Matt Harvey, the Kipper and the Kenning in the style of Matt Harvey, the Kipper and the Kenning ….. almost ….. or as close as I can
(Keat’s Ghost)

Matt Harvey was first to be
at Teignmouth Poetry,
the best of all festivals down by the sea.

His rhyming appealed to me,
his timing revealed to me
what once was concealed from me –
why to speak …..
….. pausingly …..
when holding the floor.

He rhymed with alacrity,
some might say spectacularly,
at times quite vernacularly …..
Would you like to hear more? …..

Perhaps jabberwockily,
or quite Dr Spockily,
occasionally mockingly
and mildly shockingly
but ever energetically,
compelling frenetically
in cadence splenetically.
Could it be genetically
produced I deduced
from the timing of rhyme
that seemed to come easily,
peasily,
teasing the myth of life,
squeezing the pith of life,
breathing the kith of life
into each word so meaningfully.

I remember his kipper,
a slip of a fish
that tastes quite delish …..-
….. (that’s short for ‘deliciously’) …..,
relished for breakfast
or embellished in kedgeree.
But when my kipper’s served gloriously
– “three golden ladies”, dressed on my plate,
too late, too late, too late comes my plea
as I try words placatory;
for I wish that the whiff would be
less challenged odorously –
it drives my wife nuts you see,
no ifs nor buts for me,
my each passing pleasantry
is greeted unpleasantly
as the smell of smoked herring
lingers unerringly,
by no means unsparingly,
clinging unfailingly
to each word that’s flaying me
that questions my sanity …..
the sanity, the fate
of all who eat kippers,
one, two or three
golden ladies dressed on a plate.

Liberty-taker,
ground-breaker,
word-shaker,
kenning-maker,
no mistake here …..,
Matt Harvey was first to be
at Teignmouth poetry,
the best of all festivals …..
….. down by the sea.

Want to know more?  Check out:

Matt Harvey …..
Teignmouth Poetry Festival …..

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6 thoughts on “Matt Harvey, the Kipper and the Kenning in the style of Matt Harvey, the Kipper and the Kenning ….. almost ….. or as close as I can

  1. pherecrates1 Post author

    Thanks Viv. It was a great four days and Penny Shuttle did a workshop and a session on the final day. She read one of my favourites – “The Repose of Baghdad” – check it out if you don’t already know it.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Images from the Bridge of Si’s | Teignmouth in Verse

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