Tuesday, 29 November 2016

From Bagpuss to 'an emergency of the too realized'

The adorable granddaughter Summer, being a three-year-old of taste and discernment, is a big fan of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin's classic creation Bagpuss. Yesterday we were watching the very first episode, the tale of a ship in a bottle - or rather a shipwreck in a bottle, which is repaired and restored to ship shape by means of a little Bagpuss magic and music.
It put me in mind of a Kay Ryan poem, which I pass on with a tip of the hat to the incomparable Dave Lull...

Ship in a Bottle

It seems
impossible—
not just a
ship in a
bottle but
wind and sea.
The ship starts
to struggle—an
emergency of the
too realized we
realize. We can 
get it out but
not without
spilling its world.
A hammer tap
and they’re free.
Which death
will it be,
little sailors?

No one shakes things up quite like Kay Ryan, and in so few, so precisely placed words.

2 comments:

  1. Banished To A Pompous Land29 November 2016 at 16:57

    I have to say that of all the Postage/Smallfilms Bagpuss is my least favourite. It's Noggin The Nog for me everytime.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Nog is indeed very fine - as are the Clangers and Ivor the Engine - but for me Bagpuss reigns supreme. Maybe we've hit on a new division of the human race - Bagpuss people and Noggin folk...

    ReplyDelete