Wednesday, 9 September 2015


“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” - Henry Van Dyke

This week PoetsUnited is looking at “Boredom” for its midweek poetry motif. My grandfather used to say that “only boring people get bored”, and I could see his point, considering when and how he lived: Time was precious, work tasks never-ending and leisure a rare thing, with the time devoted to it short and sweet – how so to be bored? I must say that I too, have never felt bored in my life. My interests too many, my activities multitudinous and varied, my work relentless and my own leisure time carefully spent, savoured like the last single lemon candy one sucks slowly to make it last.

I read Bukowski’s poems on the Poets United site this week a couple of times. They annoyed me. He may be well regarded, he may be famous, called a master wordsmith, a brilliant writer, but his voice fails to speak to me. I read the introduction again and the theme this week seemed to hint more at writer’s block than boredom. “Boredom” as a theme flummoxed me…

I had to go back in time, think of the idle rich and come up with this, my contribution:


Madame looks at the ormolu clock,
It ticks, it’s working, yet time seems to stand still…
She feels the texture of the Sèvres fine bone china
And sips the fine, hot, blond Oolong tea –
“Je m’ennuie tellement,
que je voudrais mourir maintenant…” She thinks

She feels the fine silk of Shanghai
As it caresses her softest skin,
She touches her carefully coiffed hair, all in order,
And her silver gilt mirror reflects her beautiful face –
“Je m’ennuie, ça me tue”, She says,
“Franchement, je ne sais plus quoi faire de ma vie!”

The diamonds of her necklace sparkle,
Madame’s hands are bejewelled too, rings, bracelets…
A golden platter full of friandises, petits fours, sugar almonds,
And the latest novels lying forlorn, discarded on the fauteuil –
“Je m’ennuie comme un rat mort,
l’ennui est tellement ennuyeux…” She concludes.

And later, when her lovely head is so easily sliced off,
By the sharp and heavy blade of the efficient guillotine,
One could quite truthfully say,
Madame had surely died of boredom…


  1. If I even hinted at boredom I was quickly given a job to do. I don't have time to be bored, even if given a chance, I don't think I could be.

    Wonderful take on the prompt.

  2. Hi Nick! You know - I am not a fan of Bukowski either. He does not speak to me in the least, so I understand your annoyance. I enjoyed your poem. Truthfully, I think the lives of these Royals would bore me to death too. (Ha - my play on words.) I just could not stand being bejeweled, bedecked, with artificiality and well coiffed hair. I think you have described the epitome of boredom! Thanks for participating again in Midweek Motif, Nick. I always look forward to your contributions!

  3. The boredom of privilege how well you described it. To arrive at that station with no train to take you anywhere. Very well penned.

  4. Haha. Or of being self absorbed. Or maybe just too idle for her own good. Comfortable in her silk. There is way too much pomp and circumstance, and rules for me to be comfortable in royalty. Way too polite in my opinion. It would bore me to death.

    I have to disagree on Buk. He really taught me that anyone can be a poet. And that you dont have to be polished or play the same tune in poetry as anyone else. Most people either love or hate him. I would take him over many of the classical poets any day.

  5. I can definitely see the aristocracy being bored, living their life of privilege, especially in earlier times, when social mores were so strict and condemning and people had to keep up an image. I think you nailed it perfectly in your poem.

  6. I enjoyed the sumptuous sets and costumes on that movie although the the American actors were unconvincing as French aristocrats.. Poor Marie Antoinette was demonised . She was not as bad as commonly believed. Nevertheless the inequity between the have and have nots made a revolution inevitable. Boredom is one of the consequences of obscene affluence. Something neither of us will probably ever experience...hey Nic:)

  7. Hahaha! Nicely done. I love the surprise in the ending and I felt all the way through that I would be so bored living like that. The meter of the poem added to its pomp.

  8. Elegant ending with a twist i must say. When one is bored - everything around him/her is noticed.

  9. boredom for a writer is almost akin to writer's this context let me quote a couple of sentences from A G Gardiner's 'On Letter Writing', ".....whose letter to her husband began and ended thus: “I write to you because I have nothing to do. I finish because I have nothing to say.”...i like how you expose boredom through the Queen's attitude...the last line is a killer...

  10. Touche ! And a cutting last verse - it's s shame Bukowski annoyed you..not everyone's cup of tea i am sure but as a writer he was certainly interesting and inspirational...have you read The Post may throw a new light on him for you?

  11. Bravo! Loved your take on the prompt :D
    Beautifully penned :D

    Lots of love,

  12. Oh! I LOVED this, Nicholas! A gem of a poem... Addign the French, both the thoughts of the Madame as well as the English words of French origin added so much to the poem. And then alll the references in French to "dying of boredom" and the last line fo the poem was a great way to close.

  13. A very unique take on the prompt. Well written.

  14. An excellently expressed piece - agreed who has time to be bored there is much to do.