‘The Calm That Nature Breathes’

 Photo . . . WHB: (Copyright): I shall remember this view for ever.  I holidayed in 2001 at the Nannybrow , just north of Windermere and a few miles west of Ambleside in The Lake District, Cumbria.

The Calm That Nature Breathes

Such beauty was a wondrous sight to see;
It held my gaze for many a moment then.

A burst of autumn colours and a view,
Exquisite as a verse from Nature’s pen.

It told of Wordsworth’s Lakeland in its glory,
Of luscious greens and tranquil lake so still;
While purpure mountains in the distance loom
And to the mellow view great calm instil.

A murmur in the breeze adorned the scene,
A susurrus in a silent land of ease.
It brought to me a sense of peace and love
Amidst those waters, hills and ancient trees.

The stillness and the quiet of evening time,
The colours then displayed before my sight,
Feelings of calm, of peace, and lasting love,
All came together then for my delight.

Such beauty was a wondrous sight to see;
It held my gaze for many a moment then.

A burst of autumn colours and a view,
Exquisite as a verse from Nature’s pen.

It told of Wordsworth’s Lakeland in its glory,
Of luscious greens and tranquil lake so still;
While purpure mountains in the distance loom
And to the mellow view great calm instil.

A murmur in the breeze adorned the scene,
A susurrus in a silent land of ease.
It brought to me a sense of peace and love
Amidst those waters, hills and ancient trees.

The stillness and the quiet of evening time,
The colours then displayed before my sight,
Feelings of calm, of peace, and lasting love,
All came together then for my delight.


One September day, still and fine, the water levels higher than usual after a period of prolonged rain, I captured the view from the hotel terrace.  I was transfixed for a long time, allowing the serenity and brilliance of the view to embed.  To me it was an absolutely stunning  experience.  The panorama from my viewpoint gives majestic views down the beautiful Brathay Valley and towards the stunning scenery of the Langdales on the horizon.   The photograph I took then introduces my poem.  The scene gave me a sense of the powerful effect which the Lakeland scenery had on William Wordsworth.   In particular it reminded me of the brief quotations below . . .

“A foretaste, a dim earnest, of the calm
That Nature breathes among the hills and groves.”

“. . . the sun in heaven  . . .  Beheld not vales more beautiful than ours”

From:   ‘The Prelude: Book 1″:

The earth and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell’d in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.

From:  “Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”

“Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!”

From:   Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

I have used a quotation from ‘The Preludes’ as the title of my own short poem, written in the same pentameter structure as Wordsworth used in many of his poems.

This blog was previously Posted in Rolands Ragbag on September 19, 2016

Six Pen and Wash Sketches

I reproduce below six of my earlier pen and wash sketches – all my own interpretations of visited scenes from the British Isles

Caldey Island, Wales . . . WHB
An English Dawn . . . WHB
Exmouth, Devon . . . WHB
Glenfinnan, Scotland . . . WHB
Ludlow, Shropshire . . . WHB
Rydal Water, The Lake District . . . WHB

3 Further Limericks

Photo by Jhefferson Santos on Pexels.com

A practical joker from Dundee
Would spike drinks with the greatest of glee.
Despite this indulgence
He got his come-uppance
When six viagra were dissolved in his tea.

He loved to play tricks on his friends,
But he came to a quite sticky end
When, unforetold by him,
His demise was quite grim –
He fell in a vat of pitchblende.

A knight called Sir Galahad,
Said,” How jolly I am and so glad,
That before I was virtuous
Solicitous and courteous,
I was really a bit of a lad.”

3 More Limericks

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

A bigoted windbag from Leeds,
Says words are more potent than deeds.
To prove he is wrong
I will stick a large prong
Up his mammoth rear end till it bleeds.

An obese old loudmouth from Crewe,
Who always knew better than you,
Found the encumbrance
Of his girth and circumference
Just grew and it grew and it grew.

6. Dame Edith Sitwell once said
Of the poems which loudly she read,
“I don’t like to be bragging,
But I’ve invented rapping,
I’ll become a renowned talking head.”


3 Limericks

Photo by Picography on Pexels.com

An irascible lady from Nice
Said to me ‘Will this noise ever cease?
I know you’re a dear,
But if a pin drop I hear
I’ll cut you to bits piece by piece.”

Said the doc, in his diagnosis,
“I’ve noticed in giving my prognosis,
Your ears have grown long,
You’ve got whiskers which pong,
I’m predicting myxomatosis.”

The misogynist said to his wife,
“Now let’s not have any strife;
Just do as I say,
Then we’ll both find a way
To live a harmonious life.”



A Fear-Full Life

A life lived through its worries,
Trying to forget.
The risks that come with being,
With which life is beset.

The siren prompted fear
In that kitchen-table home;
Dad away in the army,
And Jerry would cross the foam.

The smog was dark and dismal,
The midday sun obscured;
Cloaked in knife-cut cloud,
How was it we endured?

A dose of National Service –
Your country needs your youth;
Learn to fight for your country,
The threat – more than the truth.

The Bay of Pigs a worry,
Suez a cause for fear;
The lads fought in Korea,
While we were shivering here.


Then Aids brought worries aplenty;
Cold War a constant threat;
Always there were worries,
For ever fears to be met.

Polio and smallpox,
Diphtheria, whooping cough,
A plethora of scourges –
All those we have seen off.


And then we met with covid,
A world of worry and threat;
Another scourge to face,
None of them over yet.

A world so full of worry,
Yet life’s still worth the trouble
The joys in family and friends
Ensure we can face the struggle.

Stanley Spencer – A Happy Resurrection

Photograph of Spencer at work in Cookham Village … by WHB . . . 1957

Stanley Spencer, CBE RA (1891 – 1959)was an English painter. Shortly after leaving the Slade School of Art, Spencer became well known for his paintings depicting Biblical scenes occurring as if in Cookham, the small village beside the River Thames where he was born and spent much of his life. Wikipedia

The sleepers awake
from an imagined death
A teasing adventure in insubstantial earth

Pram pusher extraordinaire
in the Village that lit up his life
inspired his vision
Trundled easel hearse
put to work in progress
To see, to feel, to breathe
destiny on the village green
The past become the present
resurrected in tranquillity
Life-lite under the churchyard yew
this moulded flesh – full featured
bringing joy from the stern grave
Life’s resurrection imagined
in hope and the churchyard
in his eyes and his pigment
Drawn and deified
Death and Resurrection as Spring
As buttercups in the greenest of fields.


The sleepers awake
from an imagined death
A pleasing adventure in insubstantial earth

Stanley Spencer: ‘The Resurrection, Cobham … 1924-27. Tate Gallery

Gimme The Noonlight

A riff and a rap on Edith Sitwell’s ‘Façade’

Dame Edith Sitwell ..’ British Poet … 1887 – 1964

gimme the noon-light
gimme a twirl
I’ll come up trumps
my banner unfurl
that Edith was mad
yet made us all glad
with Beelzebub’s story
all hunky-dory
to consider her metre
ashes and saltpetre
anything dare
her nonsensical verse
both a boon and a curse
rapper extraordinaire
meaning averse
step-laddered verse
my first prolonged affair
to do and to dare
over our heads

but like newly weds
always a-bed
whim-led
vital yet dead
while known only to me
the waves of the sea
thrash
crash and smash
on the cusp of the shore
sea-elephant glum
mindless on rum
… but none of them come
forevermore dead
in Beelzebub’s bed

Many recorded versions of Edith Sitwell’s ‘Sir Beelzebub’ (‘Facade’) can be explored on YouTube.
The link below will take you to a version read by Anthony Burgess . . .

SENRYU #3: Friendship

Continuing my own experimentations with a variety of different verse forms, here is my further attempt at a SENRYU . . .

Photo by mododeolhar on Pexels.com

Senryū is a Japanese form of short poetry similar to haiku in construction: three lines with 17 morae (syllables). Senryū tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature, and senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are more serious. Wikipedia

FRIENDSHIP

Rejoice in friendship
Brotherly love always wins
Over self and pride.

SENRYU #2: Success

Senryū is a Japanese form of short poetry similar to haiku in construction: three lines with 17 morae (syllables). Senryū tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature, and senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are more serious. Wikipedia

Continuing my own experimentations with a variety of different verse forms, here is my second attempt at a SENRYU . . .

SUCCESS

A fear of failure
Stifles resolve and stunts growth.
Face up to success.