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Help Does Anybody Recognise?

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Help Does Anybody Recognise?

Postby Vampire Cat » Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:22 pm

Out on a very slim limb here, but I thought if all the intelligent book wormy type people on here cant help me then all is lost forever.

When I was a teenager, back at the dawn of time I had a really good book of poetry, which I subsequently lost.

Now the only poem I can remember because it was my fave was called:

"I'm stuck in a lift somewhere between heaven and woolworths"

Does anybody know who wrote this or the title of the book even. A plate of sticky buns at Hogswatch is on the table for whoever can help me with this quest.

Thanking you in advance........
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Postby Pusha-da-Quil » Thu Oct 20, 2005 07:19 am

Roger McGough?
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Postby Pat » Thu Oct 20, 2005 07:28 am

Nothing about a lift, but there's this:


Somewhere between Heaven and Woolworth's
Brian Patten, in Love Poems publ. Flamingo


She keeps kingfishers in their cages
And goldfish in their bowls,
She is lovely and is afraid
Of such things as growing cold.

She's had enough men to please her
Though they were more cruel than kind
And their love an act in isolation,
A form of pantomime.

She says she has forgotten
The feelings that she shared
At various all night parties
Among the couples on the stairs,

For among the songs and dancing
She was once open wide,
A girl dressed in denim
With boys dressed in lies.

She's eating roses on toast with tulip butter,
Praying for her mirror to stay young;
On its no longer gilted surface
This message she has scrawled:

'O somewhere between Heaven and Woolworth's
I live I love I scold,
I keep kingfishers in their cages
And goldfish in their bowls.'
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Postby Vampire Cat » Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:22 pm

Pat thanks but that isnt the poem I was looking for. Strange that you should know of another. but it didnt mention kingfishers which is a reference to woolworths parent company
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Postby Pat » Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:47 pm

Vampire Cat wrote:Pat thanks but that isnt the poem I was looking for. Strange that you should know of another.
You credit me with too much erudition! I know very little poetry (at least, of the sort one may use in polite company) but data mining is, in essence, half my job. I hope you'd be impressed at what I can discover, given the incentive ;-) For example, "Between Heaven and Woolworths" is the title of a film made in Ireland in 1992...
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Postby Vampire Cat » Thu Oct 20, 2005 02:02 pm

Well all I know was that the book was published in the 1980's, and I lost it the night my daughter was born in 1987. That was also the night the ferry went down and the friend who gave me the book went down with it.
Which is why I cant ask them the title.
Ah well I shall keep on looking.
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Postby Buckjump » Thu Oct 20, 2005 02:33 pm

There's also Francis Thompson's 'The Kingdom of God' which has the lines 'shine the traffic of Jacob's ladder/Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross'. I think the Patten poem may be alluding to this one.

Is it possible that several poems have become conflated and confused in your head over the passage of time? Brian Patten does seem the most likely candidiate for this, or at least does seem to be the first person to come up with the lines 'between heaven and woolworths'. If there's another poem with these lines, it's maybe a little-known parody of Patten's poem? Or is referencing it. Any further info at all on this remembered collection of poetry of yours would be helpful in narrowing it down. I'm intrigued now!

'The Kingdom of God' (1897 or thereabouts)

O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air -
Do we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumor of thee there?

Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars! -
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.

The angels keep their ancient places; -
Turn but a stone, and start a wing!
‘Tis ye, ‘tis your estranged faces,
That miss the many-splendoured thing.

But when so sad thou canst not sadder
Cry - and upon they so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched between Heaven and Charing Cross.

Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry - clinging Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water
Not of Gennesaret, but Thames!

Aside from this, there's an Australian band called Easybeats who made a half-hour film in 1967 called 'Somewhere Between Heaven and Woolworths'. I can't work out when the Patten poem was first published (though I've found a reference to him performing the poem in 1967), but him and the other Liverpool Poets were on the go from the 1960s onwards, so the title of this film is probably just quoting Patten.
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Postby marmaduke » Thu Oct 20, 2005 02:54 pm

Have you contacted Woolworths customer services online or the woolworths museum, just a very slim chance they might be able to help.
Everything comes to them that wait.
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Postby Vampire Cat » Thu Oct 20, 2005 03:12 pm

The title was definitely I'm stuck in a lift somewhere between heaven and woolworths, whether it was an homage to the others I dont know.

I do know that it was very funny. And that I have actively been looking for it ever since, may be one day I will be lucky.
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Postby Pat » Thu Oct 20, 2005 03:31 pm

ABE lists 8 copies of pattens book, cheapest is 3 quid. Might be worth a look to see if it rings any bells. You can always donate it to the book pile!
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Postby Buckjump » Thu Oct 20, 2005 04:37 pm

Image - this is the current cover.

And here's the cover of the 1981 edition (I think this is the first edition of these poems being collected together as 'love poems', which would tie in with your date of being published 'in the 80s')

Image

Sure this doesn't ring a bell?

Patten's also famous as a children's poet - aside from the serious adult stuff, he produces lots of funny silly kid's stuff. Is it at all possible that the collection you remember had some of the funny stuff, and some of the serious stuff, and the two have got mixed up in your memory? Or maybe Patten produced a kid's version or reused his line in another poem.

Was the collection poetry by the same author or collected poetry by different authors?
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Postby Vampire Cat » Thu Oct 20, 2005 06:57 pm

The cover was red & and on the back was a large head/shoulders shot of the author. Definitely wasnt a book of love poems. I was a hard rocking punk with a mohican when I was given it, and the chap who gave it to me was a heavy metal head.

The book was similar in style to the albums by Patrick Fitzgerald.
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Postby Catch-up » Thu Oct 20, 2005 07:12 pm

I tried a Google, Yahoo and Amazon search but struck out. I'm sure you've already tried those anyway.
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Postby ladyramkin » Thu Oct 20, 2005 09:05 pm

Thanks, Buckjump, for reminding me of the Francis Thompson poem. I used to know it by heart (still do actually). That, and The Hound of Heaven made a tremendous impression on me when I was about 16.
Re-reading them, they still stand up well.
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Postby Buckjump » Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:31 am

Vampire Cat wrote:The cover was red & and on the back was a large head/shoulders shot of the author. Definitely wasnt a book of love poems. I was a hard rocking punk with a mohican when I was given it, and the chap who gave it to me was a heavy metal head.

The book was similar in style to the albums by Patrick Fitzgerald.


Okay, it's unlikely to be a book called Love Poems then! :wink:

I remain convinced it's the Patten poem, pending further information. Here's another possibility that matches your criteria a bit better - I think the Patten poem is in this too:

Image

The Liverpool Poets, of which Patten was a founding member, were very popular and young cool types with a strong following - The Mersey Sound was one of the best selling poetry collections ever, and it's one of the few poetry collections that a hard rocking teenager could give to another hard-rocking teenager without any shame or embarrassment.

Ring any bells?
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