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Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: marian2 (192.168.128.---)
Date: August 31, 2006 04:28AM

Does anyone have a book with this in? I've been given a copy of the poem, taken from the Internet and I'm concerned that theres a typo in it. I've looked it up on the Web and found several copies, all with the same ?typo, which would suggest it isn't one. However, all the lines begin with a capital letter except the third one in the last stanza, which starts 'lie' and seems to me should probably start He, esp as there is a full stop at the end of the line before. It isn't in any of my books.

Attack On The Ad-Man


This trumpeter of nothingness, employed
To keep our reason dull and null and void.
This man of wind and froth and flux will sell
The wares of any who reward him well.
Praising whatever he is paid to praise,
He hunts for ever-newer, smarter ways
To make the gilt seen gold; the shoddy, silk;
To cheat us legally; to bluff and bilk
By methods which no jury can prevent
Because the law's not broken, only bent.

This mind for hire, this mental prostitute
Can tell the half-lie hardest to refute;
Knows how to hide an inconvenient fact
And when to leave a doubtful claim unbacked;
Manipulates the truth but not too much,
And if his patter needs the Human Touch,
Skillfully artless, artlessly naive,
Wears his convenient heart upon his sleeve.

He uses words that once were strong and fine,
Primal as sun and moon and bread and wine,
True, honourable, honoured, clear and keen,
And leaves them shabby, worn, diminished, mean.
He takes ideas and trains them to engage
In the long little wars big combines wage...
He keeps his logic loose, his feelings flimsy;
Turns eloquence to cant and wit to whimsy;
Trims language till it fits his clients, pattern
And style's a glossy tart or limping slattern.

He studies our defences, finds the cracks
And where the wall is weak or worn, attacks.
lie finds the fear that's deep, the wound that's tender,
And mastered, outmanouevered, we surrender.
We who have tried to choose accept his choice
And tired succumb to his untiring voice.
The dripping tap makes even granite soften
We trust the brand-name we have heard so often
And join the queue of sheep that flock to buy;
We fools who know our folly, you and I.





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/31/2006 04:29AM by marian2.


Re: Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: August 31, 2006 04:46AM

Marian, I'm sure it's a typo, but you best ask Stephen. He says he has access to all of Tessimond's poems: [www.emule.com] />
and according to this website Stephen has read that poem: [www.poemhunter.com] />

Les


Re: Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: August 31, 2006 09:56AM

I will keep an eye out

I've been concerned of late that many lyrics etc. posted on the web seem to be clones of previously posted ones. I imagine the same is happening with poems.

Dozens of examples, all the same


Re: Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: Desi (Moderator)
Date: September 01, 2006 03:24AM

if it's a scanned text H, might easily have been rendered into Li, if the copy was unclear. And then, people copy paste from the first posted copy online... Lie doesn't make sense. He does.


Re: Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: marian2 (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 01, 2006 04:44AM

I don't have a way of contacting Stephen - I've either never worked out how to get a personal e-mail to people from e-mule or forgotten - that's one reason why I always post, unless they contact me first. I'll just alter my copy to He, as we all seem to agree and Desi's information about scanning would explain how it could easily have arisen.

Thanks everybody!


Re: Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: StephenFryer (Moderator)
Date: September 02, 2006 03:41AM

Hi Marian and other friends. The version I posted on the net came from the original slim volume I no longer have. Here it is from the Collected Poems, and you can see it has changed a lot. I do not know when it was altered, though I trust Hubert Nicholson to have got it right in the Collected.

Attack On The Ad-Man

This trumpeter of nothingness, employed
To keep our reason full and null and void.
This man of wind and froth and flux will sell
The wares of any who reward him well.
Praising whatever he is paid to praise,
He hunts for ever-newer, smarter ways
To make the gilt seem gold; the shoddy, silk;
To cheat us legally; to bluff and bilk
By methods which no jury can prevent
Because the law's not broken, only bent.

This mind for hire, this mental prostitute
Can tell the half-lie hardest to refute;
Knows how to hide an inconvenient fact
And when to leave a doubtful claim unbacked;
Manipulates the truth, but not too much,
And if his patter needs the Human Touch
Then aptly artless, artlessly naive,
He wears his fickle heart upon his sleeve.

He takes ideas and trains them to engage
In the long little wars big combines wage.
He keeps his logic loose, his feelings flimsy;
Turns eloquence to cant and wit to whimsy;
Trims language till it fits his client's pattern,
And style's a glossy tart or limping slattern.

He uses words that once were strong and fine.
Primal as sun and moon and bread and wine,
True, honourable, honoured, clear and clean,
And leaves them shabby, worn, diminished, mean.

Where our defence is weakest, he attacks.
Encircling reason's fort, he finds the cracks,
He knows the hopes and fears on which to play.
We who at first rebel, at last obey.
We who have tried to choose accept his choice.
Tired, we succumb to his untiring voice.
The drip-drip-drip makes even granite soften.
We trust the brand-name we have heard so often
And join the queue of sheep that flock to buy;
We fools who know our folly, you and I.

[Sorry I'm not around much these days. Hot in pursuit of Literature degree. Score so far: Certificate (with Distinction); Diploma (with Merit). Degree? We shall see.]


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/02/2006 04:28PM by StephenFryer.


Re: Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: September 02, 2006 05:28AM

Stephen, congratulations and continued success in the pursuit of your degree. I'm sure you'll be successful. Thanks for the information. Was Tessimond one who published several copies of the same poems?


Les


Re: Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: StephenFryer (Moderator)
Date: September 02, 2006 04:30PM

Thanx, Les.
No, Tessimond wasn't noted for publishing variants. And the other odd thing: this poem was published posthumously. Maybe he left behind a couple of versions and they've both got out? I will continue my investigations!

Stephen


Re: Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: StephenFryer (Moderator)
Date: September 05, 2006 09:29AM

Hubert Nicholson wrote, in his introduction to Tessimond's 'Not Love Perhaps':

'He was indefatigable in listening to and looking at his poems, rethinking, tuning and polishing, never afraid of losing spontaneity in the process, believing like Dr Johnson that everything he had written could be improved by being worked over once more. I am not sure that the final form was always the best, but it was always the clearest.'

So I was wrong about his producing variants; and since the poem was published posthumously it seems likely that more than one version was 'in the bank'. Don't ask me which one I prefer, though!


Re: Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: StephenFryer (Moderator)
Date: September 05, 2006 10:55AM

The Times Literary Supplement of Friday 6 July 1962 published the poem, and the version used was the first one above, not the one which ultimately appeared in the Collected Poems.
To answer marian2's question, the third line of the last stanza does indeed begin with 'He' and not 'lie', so that much is at least beyond doubt.


Re: Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: marian2 (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 08, 2006 03:57AM

Thanks so much Stephen & Les - I got the answer to my query and a variant as a bonus! Good luck with the degree, Stephen - hang in there!


Re: Attack on the Ad-Man by ASJ Tessimond
Posted by: Elliot (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 25, 2006 07:01PM

That is a very nice item; thank you Marian,
It does waht poetry is supposed to do
The way poetry is supposed to do it

:=)
E.




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