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

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

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!

BEABT1
BEABT2
BEABT3
BEABT4
BEABT5
BEABT6

Words, pictures, and audio all ©petermatthews February2021

Rapid rhymes in stereo?

Back in September 2018 I posted my first Rapid Rhyme.

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.

One of the writers I follow, trE, at A Cornered Gurl, did me the honour of liking the idea of Rapid Rhymes so much that she started to write her own.  Not only did she write them, but she started to narrate them too.  An example, The Roamer, can be found here.

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.

Now we have lift off.

Watch this space!

Hear Ye, Hear Ye…………………You may be disappointed! 

Rapid rhyme #35

Colleen’s post today, on The Chatter Blog, entitled Until You Can’t prompted me to write a Rapid Rhyme which I have decided to call (surprise, surprise)……….

Until You Can’t

The will to do

won’t make it so

our own free choice

to come and go

to safely rise

from kneeling down

to smile, to groan,

to grin, to frown

our bodies shrink

our bones will creak

our voices waver

sometimes squeak

determination 

helps a lot

we lost our way

and names forgot

we often snooze

whilst others work

then snap awake

when muscles jerk

some were perfect

others sinned

well, damn me

just stood up….

…………………..

broke wind!

Rapid rhyme #34

It’s a bit of a bugger being dead

when I think of the things I’ve not said!

I’m not really dead. At least I don’t think I am.

However, take heed. If there is someone you love, and you haven’t told them, do it now.

If there is someone you appreciate, and you haven’t told them, do it now.

If there is someone who helped you, and you haven’t thanked them, do it now.

If you hurt someone’s feelings, and you haven’t said sorry, do it now.

Not tomorrow – NOW

Tomorrow, you, or they, may not be there!

Rapid rhyme #33/ Melissa the mouse

I talk to them, they talk to me

in easy stages one two three

First greet them with a bright “Good Day”

and ask them if they’ve time to stay

Then if they have, ask how they are

and have they had to travel far

Are they alone or with their spouse

Do they live in a hole or house

It’s truly magic, meeting friends

the joys of walking show no ends

 

Some of you may know that I go for a walk most days.  I talk to the trees and anything else I encounter along the way.  In these days of Covid I have changed my route and now I mostly go through fields, woodland, along the river and canal.  I stay away from roads and people as much as possible!

Today I had a real bonus meeting and conversation.  Apart from the cattle, horses, swans, spiders, grasshoppers, and birds, that is.

I quite often come across a dead mouse, or vole, and that’s what I saw this morning, and then……she moved.  It was a teeny tiny mouse, and her name was Melissa.  I know that for a fact because she told me.  You may think me a little potty, nuts, crazy, or whatever.  I don’t care.

I asked Melissa if I could take a few photographs to remember her by, and she agreed.  In fact she was quite happy and so that her friends on Mousebook could see what a big girl she is she asked if I could put a Pound coin alongside her to compare with. A pound coin is 23.43mm diameter.  That is 0.922 inches in old money!

Melissa was exploring her neighbourhood for the first time but couldn’t remember how old she was.   Baby mice grow up very quickly.  After just six days, they have fur and can move and squeak.  After 18 days, they are ready to leave the nest.  Female mice can start having babies when they are just six weeks old.  They can produce 10 litters every year, with up to 12 babies in each litter.

She soon went back to the nest which was accessed by a small hole in the ground.  Another of her siblings popped his head out to say a quick hello but disappeared and didn’t want his photograph taken.

Seriously though, folks, isn’t she gorgeous.  So much so that I am not sharing her space with any other friends I met today.

Rapid rhyme #31

Owen, Beleaguered Servant, with No Talent For Certainty is a poet whose prodigious output simply amazes me.    His post, yesterday,  I’m Really Glad You’re Happy inspired me to write the following Rapid rhyme.  Do check out his poetry.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

A Rapid rhyme is one that comes to mind straight away and is not edited or amended. By their very nature they can be rough at the edges, a little unfinished, but I like them!

Incidentally, trE, of A Cornered Gurl, has taken a liking to my idea and has started to produce her own Rapid rhymes, going one better by adding an audio file to them (I’m not ready to share my squeaky voice yet!). They are great, and an example can be found here.

Here is mine, inspired by Owen.

I’m really glad you’re really glad that I am glad you’re happy

I’ll help you now in helping me to help you change your nappy*

I think you think I think you’re cute but I think you are cuter

Especially now that you have let me see your great big hooter**

I like the fact you like the fact that I like facts of fiction

I say that you will say I do and I will say good diction

I’ll state the state that you are in is really rather snappy

I’m really glad you’re really glad that I am glad you’re happy

*Nappy = Diaper

**hooter = Nose

Apology to a spider – second leg – Rapid rhyme #29

I’m sorry Mrs Spider that I destroyed your home

I merely wished to walk your way whilst on my morning roam

I hope you soon restore the mess that I so rudely made

Please send the bill to me at once, it will be swiftly paid!

 

I went the same way once again to see if she was there

I found a cup and saucer smashed and half a broken chair

Her neighbour said she’d moved away, we talked of this and that

I understand that she has moved into a brand new flat

Police image of the perpetrator at the scene of the crime

First leg is here.