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

Thin Skin – A linked limerick

Such a marvellous thing is my skin

It helps keep my blood and guts in

It keeps the rain out

But now there’s no doubt

It is getting increasingly thin


Maybe I’ve just turned a page

It’s a battle my body must wage

I develop strange hues

And so easily bruise

It’s something to do with my age

Now I’ve started you may not be able to stop me!

Lundi limerick #105

Thinking of Acton I’m glad

so special to Mum and to Dad

It’s where they first met

and their future was set

Such a wondrous life they both had.

 

There is not a lot to be said about Acton,  a small hamlet in Staffordshire. You could so easily drive through it without knowing and yet, without its existence, I may well not have existed!

The one building that is there, an old Wesleyan Methodist Church that closed in 2003, is where my father, Charles Matthews, went to Sunday School, then to Chapel. Where he met my mother Irene Lily Matthews, née Talbot. Where they first started courting,  all very prim and proper in those days. Where Dad first qualified for his  75 years as a Methodist Local Preacher.

I will add some photographs to a later post, and give a little more detail. I thought it appropriate that for the last of my two years worth of Lundi limericks (Lundi being french for Monday, for those who hadn’t noticed!!) I should write about somewhere extra special.

Thank you Acton. Thank you Mum and Dad.

 

 

 

Lundi limerick #104

I’ve chosen this one for a friend

the village this week is Bell End

Some may have a keenness

to think of glans penis

Be assured this will not set a trend

 

Bell End is a village in the English county of Worcestershire,  situated approximately 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south-east of Hagley on the A491, north of Bromsgrove and close to Kidderminster Stourbridge and Halesowen. It lies in the local government district of Bromsgrove.

On the western side of the village is Bell Hall, a Victorian Gothic mansion on the site of the original manor house. It was built in 1847 for Charles Noel, later a High Sheriff of Worcestershire, by the architect Edward Smith of Oldswinford.  

The village shares its name with the British slang for the glans penis.

 

Lundi limerick #103

I know of a family of thieves

Who only go out on dark eves

They live by the brook

In the middle of Crook

and hide all their swag up their sleeves

 

Crook is a historic market town in County Durham, in the North East of England, located a couple of miles north of the River Wear, and about 9 miles (14.5 km) south-west of the historic city of Durham,

Originally an agricultural village around 1795, it later became a mining village, and thrived as the coal was very close to the surface.  Soon there were over 20 mines around the Crook area, and by the end of the nineteenth century the town had developed rapidly in population and economy. However, by the twentieth century the population had declined as the coal mines and industries closed with over 34% of the population being unemployed.

Crook’s football team, Crook Town F.C., won the FA Amateur Cup five times, most recently beating Enfield F.C. in 1964, before the cup was abolished in 1974.

The town is also home to the oldest purpose built Cinema in the North, built as the Electric Palace and opened on 21 November 1910. It was recently used as a Car Parts and Accessories shop but a group was set up in 2015 with the intention of restoring the building back to a working cinema. Much of the original interior features remain inside.

 

 

Lundi limerick #102

A young man who lives in Devizes

has ears of varying sizes

They grow and they shrink

and you really would think

that he’d easily win many prizes

Devizes is a market town and civil parish in the centre of Wiltshire, England.  It has nearly five hundred listed buildings, some notable churches, a town hall and a green in the centre of the town.  The town developed around Devizes Castle, built by Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury in 1080, but it is not mentioned in the Domesday Book. Because the castle was on the boundaries of the manors of Rowde, Bishops Cannings, and Potterne it became known as the castrum ad divisas (“the castle at the boundaries”), hence the name Devizes.  

Lundi limerick #101

Epsom is known for its horses

and magnesium rich water sources

The Derby takes place

a most famous race

on one of the country’s best courses

Epsom is a town in Surrey, England, approximately 13.5 miles (21.7 km) south of central London. The town is recorded as Ebbesham in the 13th century, probably derived from the name of a Saxon landowner. Founded as a spring line settlement where the permeable chalk of the North Downs meets the impermeable London Clay, Epsom developed as a spa town in the Georgian period. The mineral waters were found to be rich in magnesium sulphate, which became known as Epsom salts. 

Each year, on the first Saturday in June, Epsom Downs Racecourse holds The Derby, the most prestigious of the five Classic flat season horse races.

Derby is pronounced DARBY, and Epsom laid claim before Kentucky did!

Lundi limerick #100

A lady from Folkestone in Kent

was fêted wherever she went

her ears were pointed

and both knees disjointed

and her back was incredibly bent

 

Folkestone is a port town on the English Channel, in south-east England.  It was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th centuries.

There has been a settlement in this location since the Mesolithic era. A nunnery was founded by Eanswith, granddaughter of Æthelberht of Kent in the 7th century, who is still commemorated as part of the town’s culture. During the 13th century it subsequently developed into a seaport and the harbour developed during the early 19th century to provide defence against a French invasion, and expanded further after the arrival of the railway in 1843. The harbour’s use has diminished since the opening of the nearby Channel Tunnel and stopping of local ferry services, but still remains in active use.

Sadly, although fêted, the lady was also fated to an early demise from complications due to her bone problems!

Lundi limerick #99

Glossop is windy and wild

but lately the weather’s been mild

they blamed global warming

for storms not conforming

Nat Nutter* just sat back and smiled

 

Glossop is a market town in the High Peak, Derbyshire, England, 15 miles (24 km) east of Manchester, 24 miles (39 km) northwest of Sheffield and 32 miles (51 km) north of the county town, Matlock, near Derbyshire’s borders with Cheshire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. It is between 150 and 300 metres (492 and 984 ft) above mean sea level, and lies just outside the Peak District National Park. It probably dates from the 7th century.

Architecturally, the area is dominated by buildings constructed of the local sandstone. There remain two significant former cotton mills and the Dinting railway viaduct. Glossop has transport links to Manchester, making the area popular for commuters.

*‘The Gnat Hole Wood, Glossop,  is very pleasant in the Summer time when there are no gnats about. The small stream of water that runs through the wood at one place forms a small pool; this was known as Old Nat Nutter’s Porridge Kettle. She had the reputation of being a witch and fortune teller and used this pool for unholy practices and incantations. She was a bogey to children.’ [Glossop Advertiser, 1913]*