"Poets aren’t often boxers. They tend to use parts of the brain that don’t respond well to being rattled around like ice in a cocktail shaker.. . .with the noted exception of Vernon Scannell" - Andrew Taylor
I hung the gloves up, knew I'd had enough
Of taking it and trying to dish it out,
Foxing them or slugging toe-to-toe. V. Scannell
However, Vernon Scannell* was professional boxer and Man of Letters. He reminds me of Beverly Man Martin McGarry, a boxer, teacher, mentor, and pipe-fitter. The poem Nettles by Scannell really gets to thye nature of the man Martin McGarry:
'Bed' seemed a curious name for those green spears,
That regiment of spite behind the shed:
It was no place for rest. With sobs and tears
The boy came seeking comfort and I saw
White blisters beaded on his tender skin.
We soothed him till his pain was not so raw.
At last he offered us a watery grin,
And then I took my billhook, honed the blade
And went outside and slashed in fury with it
Till not a nettle in that fierce parade
Stood upright any more. And then I lit
A funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead,
But in two weeks the busy sun and rain
Had called up tall recruits behind the shed:
My son would often feel sharp wounds again.
Martin McGarry feels. He feels the nettles of living and helps youngsters to fight back and balance themselves with confidence. Marty McGarry can dish it out as well and now he is in the brawl of his life . . .well, maybe. Let's get in the ring with McGarry Clan and mix it up for Marty!
In February 2012, Martin McGarry, of Belmullet, Co. Mayo, Ireland and owner of McGarry’s Boxing Club was diagnosed with Familial Amyloidosis, an extremely rare and fatal, hereditary disease, which claimed the life of his mother and two brothers. Join us to Fight for Martin McGarry...When: December 2, 2012 Time: 1:00pm until 6:00pm; Where: 115 Bourbon Street -3359 West 115th Street Merrionette Park, IL 60803
Vernon Scannell (born 1922) is a British poet and author. He was at one time a professional boxer, and has written novels about boxing.
He was born in Spilsby, Lincolnshire, and brought up principally in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. He left school at 14.
During World War II he served in the British Army in the Gordon Highlanders, in France and North Africa. He was imprisoned for desertion, took part in the Normandy landings and was wounded, and once more deserted after VE Day. He wrote about these experiences in An Argument of Kings (1987).
He subsequently worked as a boxer, and later studied at Leeds University, encountering Bonamy Dobrée and G. Wilson Knight. He was arrested as a deserter in 1947, and sent to a mental hospital. He returned to Leeds in 1948, and put together a first poetry collection, published by the Fortune Press. He subsequently worked as teacher and for BBC Radio, while developing his range as a writer.