Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies

That bible. Racy stuff can be found between its covers.

David Herkt analyses Colin Craig’s latest literary release

The poem, titled Beautiful, was one of two that the former Conservative Party leader included in a letter to his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor on Christmas Eve in 2014… [SIC – 2012]

But as the New Zealand public are privy to yet another private poem by Craig, we examine whether they have any literary value.

Hint: Craig will likely never be a literary hero.

BEAUTIFUL, BY COLIN CRAIG

You are beautiful because your eyes are lovely

You are beautiful because you look unbelievably good in your new dress

You are beautiful because your lips are so amazing to kiss

You are beautiful because you are fearfully and wonderfully made

You are beautiful because your skin is so soft

You are beautiful because you have the most perfect… (LOL .. OK I deleted a couple of lines and stopped this section)

Please know you are beautiful

AN ANALYSIS

People use poetry for many reasons.

It is often used in moments of intense emotion to describe feelings and thoughts.

Sometimes it is written by a skilled practitioner and each word and phrase hammers home with power and rhythm.

Sometimes it is ‘doggerel’, a loosely styled form, irregular in measure, and marked by triviality or inferiority in thought.

Colin Craig’s poem ‘You are beautiful…’ is heartfelt. This cannot be debated. It is directed to a person the writer feels to be the epitome of good looks and loveliness.

She (for it is a she) looks “unbelievably” good in her new dress. There has been a kiss. The poem slips into an odd biblical reference in that “she” is “fearfully and wonderfully made”. This beauty is frightening to the writer.

The attempt to mimic verse fails before something that seems to be inexpressible – or not permitted to be expressed.

“You are beautiful because you have the most perfect…’ and the words trail out. Even the Bible’s Song of Songs that Is Solomon’s can go further: “Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies,” it reads.

“LOL”, Craig continues, slipping out of his ardour with text-speak embarrassment. “OK I deleted a couple of lines and stopped this section.”

“Please know you are beautiful,” he concludes, to make it all symmetrical

Is it poetry? No, it isn’t. It is doggerel, written in all probability by an infatuated and very constrained man, struggling to express what, for him, is the impossible.

Will it mark achievement in our literature? Again, no.

However, there can be no doubting that it was written by a man in the throes of a passion that he both fights against yet somehow must describe.

Two of me could have been inspired by A A Milne.  In modern parlance, it could be considered a mash-up.  Or perhaps a derivative work.  Nobody would dare call it plagiarism.  Not when you have a very litigious author bent on pursuing any perceived slight by defamation proceedings through the New Zealand court system.   Or copyright cases, for that matter.

And so, Beautiful is a derivative work, mashup, inspired by but definitely not plagiarised from the Bible’s Song of Songs.  We can suspect this because Mr Craig’s letter does quote liberally from the bible, and indeed also from Solomon’s Song of Songs.

I guess even the odd bloke would have to admit that’s a nice thing to do when you are deeply infatuated with someone who draws you to the shallows like a siren on a rock.

The problem comes in when he’s also married and your employer.   And that’s why these things are coming out in the Craig v Slater court case.

 

David Herkt, Stuff


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