The Black Bra

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Black on Red
It stood
Proud statement
Discarded in frenzy
All passion spent
Improperly passive now
Objet trouvé
Found flotsam
Overstating its status
Bright
Bold
Yet benign

No threat 
No danger
The sad music of lust
Transmuted
Statuesque

Fashioned by whim
Now become
A seafront memento
In memoriam
Of some casual
Teasing escapade
A littoral reminder

Perhaps
Of a purple period
Of passion
Part Bikini
Or
Plain Brassiere

 

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Photos by kind permission of Canadian artist, Alma Kerr

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‘Trees’ . . . Joyce Kilmer

[  # 99 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

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Tree Roots at Claremont Gardens, Surrey – WHB   ©

 

Trees

By: Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

bar-greenNotes:  (From Wikipedia):

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Joyce Kilmer (born as Alfred Joyce Kilmer; December 6, 1886 – July 30, 1918) was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for a short poem titled “Trees” (1913), which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems in 1914. Though a prolific poet whose works celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his Roman Catholic religious faith, Kilmer was also a journalist, literary critic, lecturer, and editor. While most of his works are largely unknown, a select few of his poems remain popular and are published frequently in anthologies. Several critics—including both Kilmer’s contemporaries and modern scholars—have disparaged Kilmer’s work as being too simple and overly sentimental, and suggested that his style was far too traditional, even archaic. Many writers, including notably Ogden Nash, have parodied Kilmer’s work and style—as attested by the many parodies of “Trees”.

At the time of his deployment to Europe during World War I, Kilmer was considered the leading American Roman Catholic poet and lecturer of his generation, whom critics often compared to British contemporaries  G.K.Chesterton (1874–1936) and Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953). He enlisted in the New York National Guard and was deployed to France with the  69th Infantry regiment (the famous “Fighting 69th”) in 1917. He was killed by a sniper’s bullet at the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 at the age of 31. He was married to Aline Murray, also an accomplished poet and author, with whom he had five children.

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RHS Wisley . . . Springtime

[ Photo Gallery  # 102 ]

The Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in the English county of Surrey, south of London, is one of four gardens run by the Society.  It may be unseasonal, but my Photo Gallery today takes me back to a visit there in Springtime ten years ago.  I accept that these are formal arrangements, but it is still a delight to view the brilliant colours of both daffodils and tulips – a delightful reminder of what Spring brings every year.

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Shaftesbury and Sherborne

[ Photo Gallery # 101 ]

Shaftesbury (in Dorset) and Sherborne (in Wiltshire) are towns only about 12 miles apart in South West England – in the area formerly part of Wessex. Both are charming historic towns with much to offer the visitor. Perhaps the best known features of these two market towns are the picturesque Gold Hill in Shaftesbury and the magnificent Abbey in Sherborne. I include just a few photographs of these two features in my Gallery below.

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Gold Hill is a steep cobbled street in the town of Shaftesbury. It is famous for its picturesque appearance; the view looking down from the top of the street has been described as “one of the most romantic sights in England.” The image of this view appears on the covers of many books about Dorset and rural England, as well as on chocolate boxes and calendars and Television advertisements.

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Gol Hill, Shaftesbury

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The Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin at Sherborne is usually called Sherborne Abbey. It has been a Saxon Cathedral (705–1075), a Benedictine abbey (998–1539), and now, a parish church.

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Portland Bill & the Abbotsbury Swannery

[ Photo Gallery # 100 ]

Portland Bill, or The Isle of Portland, lies immediately to the east of Chesil Beach.  This area of land is not in fact an island, but a promontory, 4 miles by 1.7 miles, jutting out out into the English Channel.  It forms the southernmost point of the county of Dorset, England, and is 5 miles south of the seaside resort of Weymouth.

The ‘island’ is renowned for the quality of its limestone, formed during the Jurassic period and for many years since it has been quarried here.   Being of such excellent quality, the stone has been used extensively as a building stone in many major public buildings throughout the British Isles, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace in London.  Portland stone has also been exported to many other countries and has been used for example in the the building of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

I have also included in my photo gallery below, a few pictures of swans from the Abbotsbury Swannery situated on the banks of Chesil Beach, just a few miles west of Portland Bill.

Dorset-Oct07 17 PortlandBillDorset-Oct07 19 PortlandBillDorset-Oct07 20 PortlandBillDorset-Oct07 21 PortlandBillDorset-Oct07 23 AbtsbrySwnryDorset-Oct07 25 AbtsbrySwnryDorset-Oct07 28 AbtsbrySwnryDorset-Oct07 30 AbtsbrySwnry

 

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Ed-ingo #1

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It’s an Ed-ingo  (#1)

 

Eyes opened wide
I had to blink
To see King Ed
Now crowned in pink. 

Our Peacemaker
In all his pride, 
Reduced to this – 
I nearly cried. 

To see our monarch 
Derided thus, 
Flamingo coloured – 
‘Tis Treasonous!

But then I thought, 
He’s just a bloke, 
And just like me
He loved a joke. 

I bet those royal
Mistresses
Would love to be
His witnesses. 

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Edward VII (1841 – 1910) was the great grandfather of our present Queen, Elizabeth II. There are a number of statues of Edward VII around the British isles and Commonwealth Realms. This particular one can be found on a bridge over the River Lowman in Tiverton, East Devon.  Edward was married to Alexandra of Denmark, but had many mistresses.  He was acknowledged as ‘The Peacemaker’ for the considerable efforts he made to maintain world stability at a time when War seemed to be looming.  The peace he had worked so hard to keep was eventually broken with the declaration of the First World War (1914-1918).

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Chesil Beach, Jurassic Coast, Dorset

[ Photo Gallery # 99 ]

Chesil Beach is one of the glories of England’s coastline. The name derives from the Old English ‘ceosel’ or ‘cisel’, meaning “gravel” or “shingle”.  It lies at the eastern end of what is known as the Jurassic Coast which stretches for many miles along the shores of Dorset and Devon on England’s southern coast.  My Gallery this week displays a number of photographs which  I took there 10 years ago.

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Scotland: The Fife Coast 3

 

[ Photo Gallery # 98 ]

The Fife Coast: 3

Kellie Castle, Cambo Gardens and Hew Lorimer

Kellie Castle is situated near Arncroach, about 5 kilometres north of Pittenweem in Fife on the Scottish East coast.

The castle is one of fairytale stone towers and stepped gables.  The oldest parts are 14th century, but much of the rest of was refurbished and added to in the late 19th century by the Lorimers, a famous artistic family.  Indoors can be found elaborate plaster ceilings and painted panelling, together with fine furniture designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, who spent much of his childhood at Kellie.

Not far away, near to St.Andrews, is the Cambo Walled Gardens.  This Victorian walled garden has been brought up to date with the introduction of lovely woodland walks leading beside a sparkling burn down to the nearby sea.

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Kellie Castle, Fife

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The Hew Lorimer Studio

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Hew Lorimer

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Sculpture by Hew Lorimer

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Sculpture by Hew Lorimer

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Sculpture in the castle grounds by Hew Lorimer

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In Cambo Walled Gardens

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In Cambo Walled Gardens

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In Cambo Walled Gardens

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Scotland – The Fife Coast: 2

[ Photo Gallery # 97 ]

The Fife Coast: 2

Elie, Anstruther, Crail, & Fife Ness

 

Continuing my journey along the Scottish East Coast, my Photo Gallery today displays more views of some of the delightful coastal villages along this  seaboard. . .

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Elie is a small coastal town and former royal burgh in Fife, on the north coast of the Firth of Forth.

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The shoreline and jetty at Elie

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Anstruther is a small town in Fife, Scotland, nine miles south-southeast of St. Andrews. The two halves of the town are divided by a stream, known as the Dreel Burn.

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The harbour at Anstruther

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View seawards to the harbour entrance at Anstruther

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 The stout harbour wall at Crail, a former royal burgh in the East Neuk of Fife.

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A gull’s nest viewed from the cliffs at Crail

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The harbour at Crail

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Two views from Fife Ness, a headland forming the most eastern point in Fife

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W.B.Yeats – ‘Leda and the Swan’

[  # 91 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

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Detail from ‘The Swanmaster’ by Diana Thomson FRBS … sculpture at Staines-on-Thames, England. Photo WHB. ©

‘Leda and the Swan’ by W.B.Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

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The Irish poet, W.B.Yeats,  wrote ‘Leda and the Swan’ in 1923, the year in which he was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature.   Yeats, who had a great love of both folklore and mythology, chose to write his version of the story of Leda and the Swan as a Petrarchan sonnet.  It tells the story of Zeus, the Father of the Greek Gods, and his seduction in the form of a swan, of Leda, daughter of King Thestius.  One interpretation of the story as presented by Yeats, is to see its theme as a metaphor for British involvement in Ireland.  Alternatively, it can be read as a generalised representation of the way western civilisation has developed. His choice to write the poem as a sonnet can also be viewed as an ironic comment, contrasting what is a rape with a poetic form normally associated with love and romance.

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