Poetry, You, Me, and Wordsworth

recently posted a spoken word poem which was, itself, a re-run of my Rapid Rhyme #30. This started off by saying that “None of us are Poets” but went on to suggest that we could all have a go and have fun along the way.  We do, after all, primarily blog for ourselves. 

I had some lovely responses, but also a couple of “should I really be trying to write poetry – who do I think I am?” replies.  

Caroline at doesitevenmatter3 thought that the fewer comments received, whenever she posted poetry, was a commentary on her poetry writing. 

Sue, at nansfarm, received a comment of “good try” for her poetry, which she equated with a school report saying “could do better!”

My reply was:

I think that with your comment, and Carolyn’s, we need to encourage you both that “Yes, you can!” (write poetry).

All of art is in the eye, ear, touch, smell, taste, sense of space, or other sensory effect, of the receiver. Not forgetting that the first sensor is you!  If it pleases you, job done!

I think we all tend to be self-deprecating about our output and, in truth, there is a huge spread of talent in varying degrees across WordPress. There are some sites that produce poetry every day, even some that produce multiple poems every single day. How on earth they do it is beyond me.

I have learned to love haiku, and appreciate its subtlety, simplicity, and elegance. I have always liked limericks and have posted several hundred.  I love rapid rhymes that tend to be written to the pace of my walking, and I appreciate more complex forms that I occasionally have a go at.  Some modern rap I find to be really sophisticated and colloquial forms of poetry can be a joy to listen to.

I find myself listening to more spoken word poetry and comparing one narrator with another.  Some recordings are absolutely abysmal in my opinion, but that is only my opinion.  Each of us hears differently, and appreciates differently.  Just because someone has a brilliant acting voice, or book reading voice, does not mean they do justice to poetry. 

Try it out for yourself.  Choose a poem you really like, or a well known classic.  Look up different readings and listen to them.  You may find a perfect example – for you, and that is the whole point – it is a personal preference.

For example, If I choose “Daffodils” which many people are familiar with and listen to a reading by XXX I may love it.  If I listen to YYY reading it, I may loathe it. It is the same poem, with the same brilliant words, and the same lovely images but spoiled for me because I do not hear it the same way! Perhaps I just don’t like the way it is presented.  Maybe it is because the reader doesn’t really believe in what they are doing.  Let’s face it, some people could read a railway timetable and make it irresistibly entertaining.  Stephen Fry springs to mind!

Here, for your enjoyment, are some alternative versions of William Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’ 

(Cumbria – England) – BBC – 12th April 2016. This may not play outside UK.

A reading by Ralph Fiennes

And now one that I do not enjoy, read by Jeremy Irons

Here it is set to music by Dave Camlin, recorded and performed by Sing In! and Sing Owt! community choirs in west Cumbria in March 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis.

and, finally The Wordsworth Rap – Cumbria Tourism

A Voice to be Heard

I have a voice!

Of course I have.  We all have a voice!

But that’s not strictly true.  Some people are mute, they never ever speak audibly.

Ah yes, there is a point there, but did you note the subtle nicety that, although someone cannot speak, they can still be ‘heard’.

That can only be a good thing.  Everyone should be able to have their voice heard, but we all know that all voices are not equal.

But what can we do about that?

We can carry on speaking, making our voices heard, even when we think our voice is inaudible.  

We have to speak the truth.  We have to speak the love.  We have to speak the beauty.  We have to speak the peace.  We have to speak the forgiveness.  We have to speak the reconciliation.

I have never before watched a Presidential Inauguration all the way through, as it happened.  Yesterday I did, and I am glad that I did.  There was much common sense, much compassion, and great reason for hope.

Did you hear Amanda Gorman’s poem?  Amanda, America’s Youth Poet Laureate, gave a stunning oration and, at the age of only 22, spoke better than the majority of politicians do nowadays.  Her words embody the hopes and dreams of all right-thinking people. She is smart, bright, articulate.  A lady to watch, learn from, and encourage to do wondrous things in the future.

Her final words spoke volumes, and should speak to all the world, not just to America.  Her voice, and ours are voices to be heard.

When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it.

For there is always light.

If only we’re brave enough to see it.

If only we’re brave enough to be it.

How Dare You?

I was recently honoured to be featured, for the second time, on Sammi Cox’s Whispers and Echoes, an online journal of short writing where Sammi invites bloggers to submit Flash fiction and poems. It is just one of Sammi’s various offerings and the more you look the more you will be delighted by her work. Please do follow the links below and explore the world of Sammi Cox, and those that she features. You are bound to find something you love.

https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog

How Dare You? | Peter Matthews

Posted on December 7, 2020 by sammicoxwriter

I wrote this as a social commentary on the modern phenomenon of X feeling that their opinion is the only one that matters. It seems that no-one has the right to disagree, debate, discuss, or do anything other than accept that X is right and has the absolute right to have everyone else accept that opinion. You can choose your own X!

HOW DARE YOU?

I really am very offended

that you will not think as I do

My opinion’s the one that should matter

why should anyone listen to you

All that you say is just rubbish

it’s plain you are just a buffoon

If the men in white coats do not know yet

be assured that they will very soon

I’m reporting you now to the agents

who police all these matters of state

I’m sure they’ll agree with the things that I say

that your mind is just twisted with hate

And if I can’t prove that you’re evil

I’ll just make up stories that tell

you are obviously wrong in all that you think

and you’ll surely be going to hell

I’ll laugh as they take you to prison

and make sure your family go too

You will ne’er again make that silly mistake

of not thinking the way that I do!

My wish for the New Year

Let’s hope that 2021 is the start of we humans getting things right, allowing nature to heal herself, realising that to move forward we have to co-operate rather than argue, compromise rather than stick rigidly to our preconceived ideas, love rather than hate, and help those less fortunate than ourselves.

Happy New Year to everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, even those I disagree with, even those who are bigoted, even those who hate.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Song Lyric Sunday 15/12/2019 – Baby

song-lyric-sundayJim Adams, who hosts Song Lyric Sunday, gives us the chance to share lots of familiar, and some not so familiar, songs.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

My offering today  is by The Hollies who are one of the few UK groups of the early 1960s, along with the Rolling Stones, that have never disbanded and continue to record and perform. They also happen to be the group that I have seen more than any other – many, many times over the years.

It is a song released in 1970 that was a number one hit in Australia and New Zealand but never released as a single in the UK.

It tells the story, familiar at the time, of a young couple who have got married in spite of their parents telling them they were too young. The girl was pregnant, a huge stigma for all the family, and normally blamed on the girl with little blame being directed at the father. However, they did get married and, despite living on the breadline and only just keeping their heads above water, they have managed to raise a family. They struggle every day but both have a dream of better times ahead!

This song, written by Tony Hicks, contains the word “baby” twice, so fits the theme admirably. I do hope you enjoy it. There are two versions to choose from, a live performance recorded in a German TV studio, and the original recording.

Too Young to Be Married

The Hollies

She wakes up early every morning
She get up long before the sunshine
Greets the milkman who’s still yawning
And reads the paper for a short time
Calls the kids “get out of bed”
They never hear a word she says

Husband stands to leave the table
She says “I hope you have a good day”
He thinks “one day soon as I’m able
I’ll get a job where I get good pay.”

They find it hard to make ends meet
But they don’t mention it because they have each other
And love is free while they’re supposed to be …

Too young to be married
Too young to be free
Too young to be married
But what could they do? They were going to have a baby

After the kids have had their breakfast
Now they’re off to get some schooling
She cleans the house and makes the beds
She starts to dream but knows she’s fooling

She swears one day she’ll stay in bed
But for now she knows she’s got to keep on working
’cause round and round inside her head
She hears the words her mother said …

Too young to be married
Too young to be free
Too young to be married
But what could they do? They were going to have a baby

Too young to be married
Too young to be free
Too young to be married
But what could they do?

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Tony Hicks

Too Young to Be Married lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lundi limerick #62

Limericks are normally light hearted, mildly humorous, often tongue in cheek, and slightly risqué. This one is not any of those. For whatever reason, this came to mind and it makes me rather sad. I shall not analyse, or explain, any more than that!

 

Jenny from Jarrow was sad

she’d argued with Mum and with Dad

She’d never felt right

and had told them in fright

that she desperately felt like a lad

Rapid rhyme #16

Sometimes, just sometimes, I forget that I am a compassionate and caring gentleman. This afternoon was just such an occasion.

 

Would it be awful if I were to say

I cannot be bothered to see you today

I really don’t care that your leg has dropped off

And couldn’t care less you’ve developed a cough

You breed just like rabbits, producing more louts

Your lifestyle’s renowned by all hereabouts

You’re on your seventh partner in only four years

I can only surmise it’ll all end in tears

Please don’t come to me to try to explain

I really don’t wish to hear you complain

It’s hardly surprising the neighbours all glare

Please don’t come to me, I really don’t care!