Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Susan Penhaligon debuts as poet: A MILF at 50 and Bloody Cornwall

The actress and writer Susan Penhaligon - best known for her starring role as Prue in Bouquet of Barbed Wire and for appearances in many other TV dramas such as A Fine Romance - is also a poet (on the quiet).

'I write poems as a sort of diary,' Susan tells Madame Arcati. 'So they go back years. Some of them are just a moment trapped in time.'

It's a body of work that I'm sure will find its public - and I'm honoured to publish Cornishwoman Susan's Feeling down and Now I'm Fifty.

Now I'm Fifty
By Susan Penhaligon

Now I'm fifty I shall wear
Too much make up.
I shall look admiringly without shame
at young men's bodies,
Muscles firm stretched out
In the sun.
I shall sit with dark glasses and red lipstick
dressed in black at a table outside
an Italian restaurant, my mobile phone
poised importantly at my ear.
I shall wear all my gold rings at once,
And my perfume, though sweet, will be
Full of lemons.
I shall dwell without melancholy on the
Richness of my past,
And the heels of my shoes, perhaps a
Touch too puissant, will not make me stagger,
Now I'm fifty.

Feeling down
By Susan Penhaligon

Bloody Cornwall,
bloody granite,
bloody Cornwall,
bloody sea,
bloody sand smells,
bloody rocks,
bloody life boat,
bloody fish Market,
bloody Methodists,
bloody primary school.

Bloody London,
bloody no air,
bloody no God,
bloody no sea,
bloody no life.

Bloody Cornwall.

(Copyright © Susan Penhaligon 2011)


Another poet said...

I think Susan may have created a poetic template to express exasperation with any place on earth. Stoke-on-Trent for instance:

Bloody Stoke
Bloody slag heaps
Bloody etc etc

Bognor said...

Bloody Bognor
Bloody pensioners
Bloody tourists
Bloody buggery

the late Constantine of Cornwall said...

I gather Susan isn't too taken with Cornwall then.

a sad old queen said...

Bogner said..surely it's Bugger Bogner not Bloody Bogner. As a pensioner I do object though to your 'bloody pensioners'. I am one and at my age the idea of getting any bloody buggery these days is quite out of the question. No need to rub it in.

Not Louis said...

Fifty is the better poem and works as free verse. Cornwall is a list. Still, the captured mood theme is nice. The things Madame unearths!

Anonymous said...

Bouquet of Barbed Wire remains one of the best TV dramas ever and Susan was superbly cast as the minxy daughter. She looked the part.

The Duchess said...

How do we know it's Susan Penhaligon? She may be in a twilight home for all we know while you mercilessly trade on her good name. I hope she sues.

Ciaran Rehill said...

Having seen Ms Penhaligon naked (it was on the telly) all I can say is can I have her autograph?

Chissed off said...

Susan's inspired me:

Bloody Chiswick
Bloody 267 bus
Bloody Tesco Express
Bloody poor people with dogs
Bloody young couples with kids
Bloody Sundays

Pam Ayres said...

Why should Susan's perfume be full of lemons? I don't understand.

I rarely get poetry.

The late Col Gaddafi said...

Bloody Libya
Bloody rats
Bloody Cameron
Bloody Nato
Bloody lots of fire. Ouch.

Agatha said...

As a Cornishwoman myself I can relate to Susan's momentary hatred of Cornwall, like today when it's rainy, windy and smelly. But of course she is existentially talking about something inner without addressing it directly. Oh yes.

Madame Arcati said...

Molly Parkin tells me she likes Susan's poem Now I'm Fifty.

Fake Daniels said...

I don't think it was Susan who created the template. Bloody Orkney (The result of a wartime posting to Scapa Flow and the inspiration for John Cooper Clarke's Evidently Chicken Town.)

And there's something strangely familiar about the first poem.

What a horrible little sneak I am.

Pat said...

Surely Saga mag would love Susan's poems. I'm only trying to be helpful.

Madame Arcati said...

Dear Fake Daniels, you're a very naughty boy! Susan denies all knowledge of these others in the arbitrary continuum we call time.

Never you mind said...

Bloody Methodists? Controversial.

Prof said...

Much of Oscar Wilde's poetry is 'after' classics.

Anonymous said...

I'm certain that Ms P is over 50. I can't bothered to Google.

Anonymous said...

Bouquet of Barbed Wire is a scent concocted by you, Roger Lewis and Duncan Fallowell

Elly said...

I think Fake Daniels is just showing the way Susan has referenced some famous poems. I recognised the 'wearing purple' one immediately. It's a nod to poetry's motifs.

I liked both poems.

I thought recently about moving to the coast but 'Bloody Cornwall' has put me off. I think the seaside may function better as an escapist image in my mind.


Anonymous said...

Love Susan's hubris on reaching 50.

Jude Calvert-Toulmin said...

Lovely. I loved Susan Penhaligon as Prue and her poems are fab.