Sean Matgamna’s “poetry”

February 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm (AWL, Jim D, literature, revolution, socialism, trotskyism)

The inverted commas above are from Sean, not me. I like his writing, and not just because I like Sean himself.  Good title, as well:

The Treason of the Intellectuals


To buy a copy, click here.


  1. SteveH said,

    Jesus, at least Marx had the decency to write poetry about love!

    I remember Amis proclaiming poetry was dead and hating him for it (well mild irritation). Maybe he had just read Matgamna!

  2. skidmarx said,

    To buy a copy, click here,cried the master of the smear.
    Much terse verse, that goes from bad to worse.
    One random sample:’We are “The Trots” ‘
    Even in the wildest imagination you’re not.

    This is much better:

    O freddled gruntbuggly thy micturations are to me

    As plured gabbleblochits on a lurgid bee.

    Groop, I implore thee my foonting turlingdromes.

    And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles,

    Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurlecruncheon, see if I don’t.

    • martin ohr said,


      In my opinion they’re not great poetry. Sean hasn’t just chucked this out in a weekend- they’re 50 years worth of stuff which occasionally make it to workers’ liberty publications compressed into one volume.

      They not really my thing, but they do raise the occasional smile “Malvolio” puts me in mind of you:

      Arabesques, he once turned in Cliff’s rodeo,
      Who now sits ad absurdom reductio!
      See him fret, see him fume,
      Watch him preen and presume:
      “God, I’m pleased I was me,” sighs Malvolio.

      WL, 1997

      • skidmarx said,

        I believe that should be a u at the end of “absurdum“, but I never studied Latin so I can’t be sure.
        I don’t know what the fact that they’re fifty years worth is supposed to prove, other than he wasted a lot of time on them.

        And you quote one of these crappy little verses that could be slung back in your face with much greater relevance.JD’s motto is of course also from Twelfth Night, that of Sir Toby Belch:
        Confine! I’ll confine myself no finer than I am. These clothes be good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too!

      • Pinkie said,

        “Sean hasn’t just chucked this out in a weekend- they’re 50 years worth of stuff ….”

        Well, you have to admire his indefatigability. 50 years? Hasn’t anyone ever taken him to one side and said “It’s not working, Sean, and as for the poetry…”

      • martin ohr said,

        so what I meant was that he hasn’t wasted a lot of time on them, the poems represent <1 per year.

        Like I said, they're not really my thing and I generally skip past them in our publications but they do raise the occasional smile.

        I'm sure if you write to Sean he'll be delighted to be corrected by a public school pedant

  3. lostbutnotreturning said,

    im afraid ive found some of comrade matgamnas articles like being batterred over the head with sectarian abuse…in which i dont doubt he would dismiss me as another faux…socialist/person/revolutionary.

    if this piece here is a list of his poetry titles,i will need to lie down in adarkened room for a few days to recover.who’s imagination,lives or spirits(whoops!but i wont apologise for the word)will this set a light.

    i think il be reading the phone book instead!

  4. Dave said,

    I do like SM’s prose style, although he could sometimes use an editor.

  5. Jimmy said,

    This guy Sean seems to have jumped ship more times than the gorgeous pair Sheridan and Bonnie Gallowa combined. Aye well that is socialists for you.

  6. Pinkie said,

    Fair play to you James. You have plugged a friend’s poetry, but in a ‘forum’ that nobody much reads.

    I have this ghastly image of an AWL summer school:

    9:30, Saturday, Poetry Evening in the Bar
    9:45, Saturday, try and score a dodgy deal round King’s Cross
    10:45, Saturday, fuck it, I reckon I can get the last train home if I run back to the room to get my stuff
    11:00, Saturday, bar seems to be empty, apart from some bloke slumped in the corner calling the cleaner an anti-Semite
    11:10, Saturday, is that a party going on down the corridor?
    11:15 Saturday, no it’s not.

  7. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

    am going to get George Szirtes to write a review of this

    • Pinkie said,

      better still, why not ask him to translate the lot into Hungarian?

  8. Boleyn Ali said,

    Is there a reading and signing tour?

    • Pinkie said,

      Well, the rest of the AWL have organised one, but he seems resistant to going to Syria at the moment, despite the bonus of a trip to the Golan Heights, said to be particularly beautiful at this time of year.

      • Jimmy said,

        The taking by Israel of the Golan Heights was an intelligence and military victory not often mentioned. I doubt Israel will or should disengage.

  9. Abu Faris said,

    Wow, poetry segues effortlessly into Golan Heights. Next up, the anti-Zionism of extra-terrestrial telephotography.

    • Pinkie said,

      You do have a sense of humour, don’t you?

  10. entdinglichung said,

  11. Kleines Kulturjournal « Entdinglichung said,

    […] Die Gedichte von Mao Tse-tung sind besser und nicht schlechter als wie die Gedichte des Workers Liberty-Häuptlings Sean Matgamna und zumindest in diesem Falle wird im Bereich der […]

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