Linda, Angie, and Paul do exist, as do I. I have no recollection that any of us had spots, smelly feet, a stutter, or were ne’er do wells. I do know that they were excellent co workers and friends without whom I could not have done my job. There were others, of course, but these three have a particularly special place in my life!
Although it can be very pleasant to look back on our youth in later years it is never a good idea to try to compare one with the other. Times change, circumstances change, and our perceptions change. I like to try to live in, and for, the moment, and to enjoy it, and help others to do so too!
In 1964, 57 years ago today, I reported to Uniacke Barracks in Harrogate, Yorkshire, to begin a three year apprenticeship as an Electronic Engineer, thus beginning my Army career which lasted for 28 years and 151 days
After 22 years in the army I morphed into a military accountant
On Monday I watered a sparrow – she was asleep in a bush – I apologised
I have created a very small wildlife pond – it has been immediately colonised by mosquito larvae
My wife and I are somehow suffering from multiple mosquito bites
I’m happy and I’m shallow
but sometimes I am deep
I’ll often write best sellers whilst I am fast asleep
After my ponderings on Wordsworth’s Daffodils, and poetry in general, Josie Holford came up with another take on Daffodils, “The Imbeciles”. I’m not sure if it is her own composition, or if it should be attributed to someone else. If anyone knows please let me know so that I may add the attribution. Whoever wrote it, I love it!
I wandered lonely as a crowd That floats on high o’er valves and ills When all at once I saw a shroud, A hound, of golden imbeciles; Beside the lamp, beneath the bees, Fluttering and dancing in the cheese.
Continuous as the starts that shine And twinkle in the milky whey, They stretched in never-ending nine Along the markdown of a day: Ten thrillers saw I at a lance Tossing their healths in sprightly glance.
The wealths beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling wealths in key: A poker could not be but gay, In such a jocund constancy: I gazed – and gazed – but little thought What weave to me the shred had brought:
For oft, when on my count I lie In vacant or in pensive nude, They flash upon that inward fly That is the block of turpitude; And then my heat with plenty fills And dances with the imbeciles.
Josie also linked to her thoughts on daffodils which you can find here. It’s well worth a look!
I 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 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.
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
I saw a little squirrel go a walking human paths well trod
His tail was swishing to and fro as if ‘twas like a passing nod
to metronomes just beating time accompanying his daily trek
And oft times I remember him, his journey by that lonely beck
I ponder this, and wonder that, considering his lonely jaunt
I saw him yet again today and thought him looking rather gaunt
I’d like to think he sees me, yet, I hope he knows I can’t forget
The joy he brought when e’er we met reminds me of the epithet.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed
This being my first audio attempt I am spoiled for choice of what to offer. I tried so many versions and have rejected dozens, but cannot pick which one of six should be THE ONE. Being human, and kind, I’m giving you all six. You choose!
I didn’t define what a rapid rhyme was but had in mind that it, and any subsequent similar rhymes, should be fairly short (hence rapid you silly man!), should be written as they came to mind, with no editing whatsoever, and should rhyme (is this man as dense as he makes out?)
I’ve only posted 35 Rapid Rhymes so far but many of them have been influenced by blogs I’ve read, by current events, or by something encountered on my daily walks.
I rather liked trE’s idea and wondered whether I should have a go at the Spoken Word myself, an idea I quickly abandoned. After all I have a squeaky voice, not at all fit for reading poetry, and definitely not my own poetry.
I then came across another blogger, Tom Alexander, whose poetry blog, The Lighthouse, features lots of very professional sounding audible poetry. Tom assures me he uses very low-tech methods, but he certainly achieves some very good results. Check out Fulfilment here.
This resurrected the idea of recording some of my poems. I could never achieve the quality of Tom, but I might just have a go……….so I did! I chose a suitable short poem and recorded it……….11 times, 11 different versions, all of varying squeakiness, or huskiness, or choking half way through. It wasn’t perfect, but it sounded not too bad.
Then I hit a brick wall.
The ultra-simple, free version of WordPress I was using did not support audio files.
Step forward a fairy godmother in the form of Sue at Nan’s Farm who offered to host my audio files. I had to think about that very kind offer. Meanwhile, I researched other ways of being heard.