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BARBARA CARTLAND
Lines on Life and Love


click to enlarge

Eaglemoss, London, 1972
(price: free with Vol.4; 48 pages)

dedication: To Iona


The blurb in the front:

To the Reader

Poetry is the music of prose and often it is the only method by which we can express our emotions.
When I started writing novels, whenever I wanted a title it came to me in the form of a poem. I wrote
Not Love Alone, a novel set in the places we had visited in Austria, and 'heard' in my mind the poem which gave me the title:

    ... how hold
    That glittering courage, or that soaring thought
    Which pierces through dissembling doubt
    Then dives - into a lake of live desire,
    Surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the mind?
    Can love hold that? Not love alone.

Lyrics are fun to write and I like expressing sound, like one I wrote called 'The Typist's Song':

    Of what are we thinking, while inking a line,
    Or tapping the keys, our knees swaying in time?
    Hear and discern that it's rhythm in rhyme.
      Tap. Tap-tap. Tap Tap.

I am not expecting to be made Poet Laureate! This book is just scraps of verse which have helped or amused me. I hope they will do the same for you.


Guess what? Barbara Cartland was a terrible poet.

No, really, she was.

Occasionally there seems like there might be a personal excuse for the poverty of her writing. There's her poem 'To Ronald', for example, which she explains thus: 'My two brothers were killed at Dunkirk. Ronald, the eldest, was the first Member of Parliament to die.' She lost two brothers in a noble cause, so you're inclined to forgive her the clumsiness of the lines:

    On the 'Dunkirk beaches' of England's story
    She finds her soul and her greatest glory,
    For the men who love her are always the same,
    Ready to die in freedom's name.

On the opposite page she has another poem on death:

    Such a little life, so little time
    To live, and yet you were part of mine.
    And I never can walk in the mud and rain
    Without seeing you lying dead again
    In the road.

Those are the closing lines of a poem entitled 'To A Pekinese', dedicated to a dog named Ching. Maybe I'm being heartless, but it seems to me that the death of two brothers and the death of a Peke don't really warrant equality of treatment - the juxtaposition doesn't quite work, you know?

Footnote: That bit that says 'free with Vol.4' - I have no idea what of.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 1/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
3/5


For those with more kitsch than sense the official Barbara Cartland site is very, very well done. Much better than she deserves.
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