Weaving Words

abstract blur book book pages

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Weaving Words

 

(The Poet’s Calling)

 

I wander my world 
weaving words into verse
plaiting my thoughts 
into silken skeins of sense
rendering images
from my mind’s eye
to this digital paper
perverse perception
lending life to poetry
lust to hope 
and love to mon amour
the written word. 

Only in time
with wish fulfilment
perchance my dreams
will meet my expectations 
and produce that meisterwerk
whose impetus
drives me on

 

Banner3b

Advertisements

‘A Word is Dead’ . . . Emily Dickinson

[  # 95 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

word1

A Word is Dead

by Emily Dickinson


A word is dead

When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

bar-green

One of the shortest poems I know, yet I find it so powerful, so wise.   Words need to be heard, to be read, to be said,  above all perhaps they need to be used.  In its brevity, Emily Dickinson uses them so carefully here and yet prompting further thought with the depth of their meaning.  Words used in a poem do take flight as the reader is led to consider their meaning further.

bar-green

Kurt Vonnegut – ‘Two Little Good Girls’

[  # 86 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

vonnegut

Known primarily as a novelist, Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007) was an American writer. He published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’, published in(1969.

I do like this short poem of his which I came across only recently.  Apparently it was never given a title by Vonnegut and was discovered in a letter of 1961 sent by him to a friend.  It has a delightfully simple and artless warmth which engenders such good feeling and optimism.

 

Two little good girls
Watchful and wise —
Clever little hands
And big kind eyes —
Look for signs that the world is good,
Comport themselves as good folk should.
They wonder at a father
Who is sad and funny strong,
And they wonder at a mother
Like a childhood song.
And what, and what
Do the two think of?
Of the sun
And the moon
And the earth
And love.

 

chinesebanner

 

 

Early 20th Century Autograph Books

[ Wednesday Replay # 1 ] 

Previously published on Roland’s Ragbag on August 6th 2016 at:
‘Early 20th Century Autograph Books’


 

Autograph books, where they exist, are now used mainly for collecting the signatures ( or at least the scribbled ciphers) of the latest popular music or sports star.

Compare this scribble below by Wimbledon Champion, Andy Murray, in 2013, with, from my own autograph collection (of 2), this perfectly legible  autograph of England and Yorkshire batsman, Len Hutton, obtained in the 1940s . . .

100 years ago Autographs Books were primarily more for the collecting and usually exchanging, of aphorisms, homilies, comments,  pithy verses, simple drawings, personal messages, with friends and relatives.

These autograph books of the first half of the 20th Century, give a clear picture of the social mores and conventions of the time.  Their contents can be clearly seen as a means of passing popular wisdom on to subsequent generations. Nowadays they may be thought of by some as schmaltzy, even maudlin, but they do present a picture of the tastes and sentiments of that time and help to remind us of a much simpler and less cynical age.

 REPRODUCE BELOW, In Slide show format) SOME OF THE SKETCHES FROM MY OWN FAMILY’S AUTOGRAPH BOOKS – THE MAJORITY OF THE ENTRIES ARE DATED 1929.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

. . . AND HERE ARE THE TEXTS OF SOME OF THE MORE DISCERNING ENTRIES . . .


Beware sweet maid when men come to thee
And say they seek their soul’s affinity
When all they want, the base espousers,
Is someone to sew buttons on their trousers.


_____________
_____________
_____________
_____________

‘Just a few lines from a would-be poet’


It’s very hard to find a friend
When your heart is full of hope.
It’s harder still to find a towel
When your eyes are full of soap.


In ascending the hill of prosperity
May you never meet a Friend


It’s not the one that knows the most
That has the most to say.
Nor yet the one that has the most
That gives the most away.


Love is like a mutton chop
Sometimes cold – Sometimes hot

Whether cold or whether hot
It’s not a thing to be forgot.


‘Taint what we have,
But what we give,
‘Taint what we are,
But how we live,
‘Taint what we do,
But how we do it,
That makes life worth
Going through it.


Make new friends but keep the old,
One is silver, the other gold;
Cheeks may wrinkle, hair grow grey,
But friendship never knows decay.


When the golden sun is sinking,
When your time from care is free,
When of others you are thinking,
Will you sometimes think of me?


Written in faltering, scratchy handwriting …

This is a damned bad pen you’ve given me!

bar-green

‘Syntax’ by Carol Ann Duffy

[  # 81 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy (1955- )

‘It is not always easy to speak of love.  The words we use to do so are often tortured and can be made incomprehensible by passion and heedlessness.  So, how then do we speak of love?  How does the poet speak of love?  Is the language of love pre-ordained?  Should it run to a formula?  The formula, perhaps, of formal English speech – syntax in other words?  The expression of love surely by-passes such strict rules, and resides in the lips, the eyes, the heart.

In short, simple precisely to-the-point words, Carol Anne Duffy, Britain’s current Poet Laureate, in this poem, unlike any other love poem I have ever read, conveys the thoughts, desires, hesitations which beset us in the search for a meaningful form of capturing such feelings.’

Syntax


I want to call you thou, the sound

of the shape of the start
of a kiss  –   like this, thou  –
and to say, after, I love,
thou, I love, thou I love, not
I love you.

Because I so do  –
as we say now  –   I want to say
thee, I adore, I adore thee,
and to know in my lips
the syntax of love resides,
and to gaze In thine eyes.

Love’s language starts, stops, starts;
the right words flowing or clotting in the heart.

Re-printed from ‘The Times’,  Saturday September 3rd, 2005
First published in ‘Rapture’, Duffy’s volume of love poems, first published in 2005. 

bar-green

Here is a spoken version of the poem “Syntax” by Carol Ann Duffy (read by Tom O’Bedlam) . . .

 

bar-green

‘I Am’ by Sylvia Plath

[  # 75 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

SylviaPlath



‘I took a deep breath

and listened to the old brag of my heart:

I am,

I am,

I am.’


 

Today’s offering is not, strictly speaking a poem.  It is a very short, one sentence, quotation from theThe Bell Jar’, (written under the pseudonym, ‘Victoria Lucas’), the only novel ever written by the American poet, Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide, aged 30, shortly after its publication in 1963.

I am using it today as its introspection does mirror that of John Clare, whose ‘I Am’ verses I featured a week ago.  Both Clare and Plath were troubled beings, suffering for long periods of their lives from severe mood swings and depression.

In this one sentence from her novel, Sylvia Plath, cries out with similar force to that which John Clare was expressing in his poem, for the self-belief and recognition which both felt had eluded them . . .  ‘I AM! yet what I am who cares, or knows?’ 

 

chinesebanner

 

Books Do Not Die . . .

Books-DoNotDie

Books, do not die

{ A paean to Books }

 

Books, do not die,
You bring me such joy;
I’ve dwelt in your pages
Since I was a boy.

Books, do not die,
You are humble yet proud,
Bringing solace and hope,
The sun through the cloud.

Books, do not die.
Your warmth and your grace,
Your wisdom and charm,
I clutch and embrace.

Books, do not die,
You have smell, you have taste.
Your very presence
Will not go to waste.

Books, do not die,
Your existence delights
You see me through
Those long dark winter nights

Books do not die,
My dreams you renew;
You offer escape,
I can’t live without you.

Books, Do not die;
Do not burn, Or expire.
Life blood of words,
Procreate and inspire.

 

Banner3b

 

He is Gone

funeral party

A Quote from that great  English comedienne, actress, singer and songwriter, screenwriter, producer and director, Victoria Wood, who sadly passed away in 2016 at the age of 63 . . .

“In India, if a man dies, the widow flings herself onto the funeral pyre; if a man dies in this country, the woman just drags herself into the kitchen and says, ‘Seventy-two baps, Connie, you slice, I’ll spread’ “

From: ‘Great British Wit’ by Rosemary Jarski  (Ebury Press 2009)

redline-thin

Pull the stops out
He is gone;
Start a new life,
Don’t dwell upon

What once was quick,
It now is dead,
Life starts afresh;
He always said,

“When I am gone
Do not be sad,
Start a new life
And be glad.

Get out the glad rags,
Have a party,
You’ll be fine now,
Hale and hearty.

Ready to start
A brand new life,
A brand new woman,
An experienced wife.

Time to sparkle,
Forget the past;
Your Prince awaits you,
Free at last.

For when I’m safely
In my box,
No need then
To stop all the clocks.”

 

redline-thin

 

A Poetic Formula

 (Poem No.51 of my favourite short poems) 

A Poetic Formula

formula

A dozen, a gross and a score

Plus 3 times the square root of 4

Divided by 7

Plus 5 times 11

Is  9 squared

And not a bit more.

bar-yellow

This ingeniously composed equation and the accompanying verse is quoted in Gyles Brandreth’s 2015 book ‘Word Play’ (Coronet Books – Hodder and Stoughton), as a composition by the playwright, Tom Stoppard. 

bar-yellow

My Library, My Life

My Library

My Library, My Life

The best way to find out
About who someone is?
Examine their library –
No need for a quiz.

My library is big,
Just take a look.
What you’ll find in it
Is book after book.

My bookshelves are full
Of books of all kinds
I’ve scoured the bookshops
Made remarkable finds.

Books I have read;
Books I might read one day;
Books never read,
Just there for display.

Books bought on a whim,
Not ‘cos of need,
Some temporary fashion
My psyche to feed.

Milligan and Wodehouse,
Others quite scholastic;
Some books of value
Wrapped up in plastic.

Books from my schooldays
And courses of study
‘Duchess Of Malfi’,
Such tales that are bloody!

Books presented to me,
Complete with inscriptions;
D.I.Y books,
Complete with descriptions.

Books I have borrowed
With library covers;
Books now on loan
From other book lovers.

Dickens and Trollope,
Austen and Hardy,
Similar authors
With whose reading I’m tardy.

Histories, biographies,  
And Poets galore,
Who once I indulged in,
Like Rabindranath Tagore.

Pop-up books from childhood
And Sunday school prizes
Maps and old diaries
And other surprises.

Games, chess and bridge,
Whole sections you’ll find
On Yorkshire and China
First editions – unsigned!

A few spaces for books
which I’ve lent out to others,
Awaiting return
With or without covers.

Look close and you’ll find
What once filled my mind;
Many are mystery now,
Since my memory declined.

But, never-the-less,
I still love them all,
Or perhaps I just keep them
To decorate the wall.

My Books