June 17, 2012

Neil Gaiman "For Amanda, An Appreciation After Christopher Smart, Sort Of"



**READER ADVISORY** There is an instance of (censored) strong language some will find objectionable in the poem included in this post.

The purpose of this post is no doubt a bit unique.

I would first like to shed some light for the currently oblivious crowd of lit-lovers who have yet to make his acquaintance to the off-beat and infinitely charming Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is a poet, novelist, writer of short stories and non-fictional musings, lover, fighter, dreamer, and magic-maker--not to mention the fact that he is British and has one of the most delicious accents imaginable. His creative mind is wild and limitless but at the same time controlled, collected, and narrated in a level and soothing tone of voice that no one can quite duplicate.

I recently watched all of the YouTube videos recorded at the "Ninja Gig" of Amanda Palmer, Gaiman's musician wife, at Good Records in Dallas this April. To my delight, Gaiman decided, as he often does, to humbly read a few of his favorite poems, one of which had recently been written about his beloved wife.


All of the poems we beautifully written and even more beautifully read. I cannot recommend enough "The Day the Saucers Came." Make sure you listen to Gaiman recite it rather than just reading it for yourself. It really makes all the difference. The thing that struck me the most, however, was that in my fandom I had never yet discovered the following poem dedicated to Amanda Palmer and that scouring Google didn't turn up any text versions of this beautiful work. All I seemed to find were video recitations.

Well, for those who come behind me, I leave you this, the written version of Gaiman's "For Amanda," that you may pour over it's beauty and sweetness over and over again. Keep in mind that poems written specifically for performance can vary from reading to reading and that many words in this particular piece may be different in other versions available online.

For Amanda, An Appreciation After Christopher Smart, Sort Of
by Neil Gaiman

For I shall enumerate my lady’s charms although they are numberless.

For firstly, she has a smile like a beam of sunlight breaking through a cloud in a medieval painting.

For secondly, she moves like cats and panthers, and also she can stand still.

For thirdly, she has eyes of a color that no two people can agree on which I remember when I close my eyes.

For fourthly, she laughs at my jokes, sings unconcerned on the sidewalk, and gives money to buskers as a religious act.

For fifthly, she f*cks like wild cats and thunderstorms.

For sixthly, her kisses are gentle.

For seventhly, I would follow her or walk behind her or in front of her wherever she wished to go, and being with her would ease my mind.

For eighthly, I dream of her and am comforted.

For ninthly, there is no one like her, not that I’ve ever met, and I’ve met so many people, no one at all.

For tenthly, she squeals when I say “wastepaper basket,” and also in the morning, eyebrowless and waking, she always looks so perfectly surprised.

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