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Confucius he say: a poem by Johnny Parker

Updated on April 29, 2014

Confucius He Say by Johnny Parker

Confucius He Say
Confucius He Say | Source

Confucius he say

Confucius he say

Come out to play

It's bad to stay in

I think it's a sin

Confucius he say

Life is a play

In seven age acts

Love, dreams hopes and slacks

Confucius he say

Writing doesn't pay

So why jot this down

Am I then a clown?

Confucius he say

Feel cocky all day

Face up to your fears

Lest it all end in tears

Confucius he say

Make love in the hay

To release all your pain

Of going against the grain

Confucius he say

Philosophy is the way

So write something clever

And it may last forever!

Confucius He Say performed by Johnny Parker at Brink Liverpool Poetry Open Mic Night

Reading your poetry in public

The video of me reading Confucius He Say was me losing my poetry reading cherry. I'd never stood up in front of an audience before to read my work. I was a bit nervous, but the audience of about forty people were very supportive. There is an unwritten rule of poetry speaking that if you are going to heckle you have to do it in rhyme!

I think this friendly atmosphere is very common with poetry open mic nights. The audience knows and understands how hard it can be to expose your creative soul to public scrutiny, so unlike comedy stand up the audience is pretty nearly always sympathetic and I can heartily recommend the experience.

Do you have a favourite philosopher?

I don't think I'm intellectual enough to have a favourite philosopher. But from a comedy point of view I've always laughed at Confucious jokes, such as -

  • Man who run in front of car get tired.
  • Man who run behind car get exhausted.
  • War not determine who is right, war determine who is left.
  • Man who stand on toilet is high on pot.
  • Man who jump off cliff, jump to conclusion!
  • Man who eats photo of father, soon spitting-image of father.
  • Man who fly airplane upside-down bound to have crack up.

And so on and so on....

I like poetry because it is a medium where you can say something clever or use words in interesting and unusual ways that prose doesn't allow. Confucius He Say is my way of paying tribute to 'saying something clever'.

Confucius Poetry - Humour and Wisdom

Confucius He Say is a fun poem. It was written less about Confucius and more about the humour that surrounds the name. It's good not to take life too seriously. Lines such as 'Going against the grain' hint at the struggle of daily life. But humour can be a great antidote to all that.

I tried to get the feeling humour and wisdom sitting side by side - which is the whole modern take on Confucius. Humour is also a great way of imparting wisdom. You very often remember something if it makes you laugh.

It's also true that reading a line that resonates with you in some way will also make you remember it. Philosophers have a great knack of producing lines that are great sound bites.

The fact is that anything that stirs a strong feeling in you will be memorable and this is a function that falls strongly in the realm of philosophy, writing and film making. Someone said to me recently that they struggled to write poetry because they had to be in the mood. This is a particular property of poetry like no other form of literature. The creative use of language to paint a picture in your mind and stir your feelings is the great gift of poetry.


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    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I so enjoyed reading this hub! Well done.