Our world – our problem | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Please click on the link below to see my latest haiku published yesterday.

The world is dying Humankind has abused it Now’s the time to heal Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest achievement is that he has aged fairly gracefully but has avoided growing up.  Peter has written poetry from the age of sixteen and blogs regularly […]

Our world – our problem | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

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

We are all poets

I remember discussing poetry with a soldier friend in a bar in Germany when we were probably aged 20.  We wouldn’t have been drunk because we could not afford more than a couple of small beers but it was good to get out of the barracks and live a little.

I had recited a poem I’d recently written and he stated that he had never tried to write any poetry, and doubted if he had a poetic bone in his body.  He probably did not put it quite so eloquently! However, I responded, saying that we were all poets, whereupon I encouraged him to come up with a verse.

After a bit of thought he produced:

I have a motorbike which goes well

and a car, but it’s not very good! 

Now, if that isn’t poetry I don’t know what is!

Farewell Daisy | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Daisy appeared in my Almost a Catastrophe on 11 June. Sadly, we had to say farewell to her on 21 June.

Click on the link below to see my haiku which appears on Whispers and Echoes today.

Time to say goodbye There can be no healing now Thank you faithful friend Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest achievement is that he has aged fairly gracefully but has avoided growing up.  Peter has written poetry from the age of sixteen and blogs […]

Farewell Daisy | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

None of us are poets – Spoken Word

A couple of readers have encouraged me to do more Spoken Word Poems. An easy start is to record some of those I’ve already written. Here is Rapid rhyme #30 repeated in glorious surround sound. I hope you enjoy it.  

In case you can’t bear to listen to my voice I have included the words at the bottom.

None of us are poets, it’s very plain to see

we write some words and if they rhyme then it was meant to be

but there again if words don’t rhyme it doesn’t mean it’s prose

It may be verse, or something worse, a finger up your nose

*

None of us are poets, it’s why I wrote these words

to prove to you it’s very true that cows are seen in herds

A bull will come along to serve, that is his given task

He’s making love to cows all day and doesn’t have to ask

*

None of us are poets, I think I’ve proved that fact

but have a go, it’s fun to do, just sign the poet’s pact

Stand on your head, write with your toes, and sing a happy ditty

For those of you who think you know the rhyming word is kitty

The good, the bad, and the ugly #2

This week’s #writephoto is below. Check out the rules and all of the fabulous entries by clicking on the link

The Fisherman – Image by KL Caley

The good

Perfect fishing day

Caught them by the bucketload

Returned them unharmed

The bad

Constant casting, perfect calm

Fish are fasting, free from harm

What’s for dinner now no fish?

I’ll get thinner, oh I wish!

And the ugly

He’d fished here for years, first as a boy with his Dad, then as a youth while others were chasing girls, now as a man, alone. 

It was a perfect pastime. 

He loved to cast and dream, to snooze and remember, to breathe the fresh air, occasionally to catch a fish.  He loved the solitude, the perfect reflections that rippled every time he cast, or drew in his line. He even loved it when it rained and the fish rose to the surface, seeming to delight in the shower.        

He thought of it more as feeding the fish, rather than a battle of wills to lure them on to his hook. 

Over the years he’d fed them worms, grubs, and all sorts of ground bait, but the best days fishing was surely the day he’d fed them his wife!

The good, the bad, and the ugly

This week’s #writephoto is below. Check out the rules and all of the fabulous entries by clicking on the link.

The good

Family day out

Dressed for the English Summer

Splashing in puddles

The bad

Paddle at the seaside

walking with a squelch

eating too much ice cream

pardon when I belch

tummy feeling funny

find a loo real quick

dearie me I’m feeling ill

oops, I’m being sick!

And the ugly

Are you sure Dad?

Yes, pet. I promise everything will be OK.  We just need to stamp our feet 20 times more and you will never ever see that nasty man again.  I promise!

So we did.  We stamped, and counted, never to see that nasty man again.

Below the sand, six feet down, with little air remaining, the nasty man could sense the pounding and, in abject terror, understand its meaning.

An Oral, Aural, Adventitious Allegory

This week’s #writephoto is

Steps – Image by Jemima Pet

The Steps of Life

(I was intending to add an audio file, but WordPress doesn’t want to play today so I’ll try later — AND HERE IT IS!)

Reflecting on the steps of life

and bridges crossed 

and all the strife

I find my thoughts are narrowed down 

to ponder why the heavenly crown 

which, meant to rest on saintly head 

came to rest, alas, instead

imperfect, soiled, and even cursed

on Satan’s brow

.

As I cross the ancient way

a mere eight steps

at break of day

I wander, wondering, what to do

I think, perhaps, that you do too

Why be concerned? Why take this stance?

Pause awhile and take a chance

It matters not the bubble’s burst

What say you now?

.

So carry on, increase the pace

traverse the void

and boldly face

whatever life can send your way

no matter what your foes may say

you’ll surely triumph o’er life’s ills

you’ll use your guile and all your skills

to salve the hurt and quench the thirst

This is my vow

#Writephoto – Dinosaur

Writephoto is a weekly challenge, hosted by KL, where a picture prompt is provided every Thursday and we are invited to create a post… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever we choose, as long as it is fairly family-friendly.

This week’s prompt post can be found here – 

https://new2writing.wordpress.com/2021/04/15/writephoto-dinosaur/

Wally Mammoth

Standing by the pathway right beside the trees

I espy a mammoth who hasn’t any knees

He doesn’t want to talk at all, perhaps he’s been struck dumb

or maybe he’s just hanging round waiting for his Mum

……………

His colour’s sort of rusty red, his tusks are large and round

His floppy ears can hear it all, every little sound

He’s smiling right across his face, it goes from ear to ear

as if to say to everyone there is no need for fear

……………

He seems to breathe with little grunts, I thought there’d be more noise

Despite his size, and little eyes, he shows tremendous poise

As I approach much nearer he whispers with a hiss

Hello my lovely, come up close, and let me have a kiss!