[  # 88 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Nina Simone

Nina Simone

My reason for showcasing the lyrics of this song are really just an excuse to feature once again the power of the musician/singer, Nina Simone, previously featured in my blog:  ‘Strange Fruits’  – originally posted on Dec.31st 2016 .

Originally popularised by the Brazilian singer Morris Albert, in 1975, the lyrics of the song have been described as “incredibly, stunningly crappy”, largely because of the vagueness and lack of a defined context.   Nevertheless, if anyone were to be able to invest the song with meaning, and with ‘feelings’, then Nina Simone is the person to do it and I commend the YouTube video of  her 1976 Montreaux Jazz Festival performance, which can be found by following the link at:   ‘Feelings’.   Her approach displays all her power and intensity, coupled with her magnificent playing of the piano.

In 1988, French songwriter Louis Gaste successfully sued Morris Albert for plagiarizing his song “Pour Toi”, which appeared in an obscure 1957 French movie. The tunes are very similar. He was awarded 88% of the royalties.



Feelings, nothing more than feelings,
Trying to forget my feelings of love
Teardrops rolling down on my face,
Trying to forget my feelings of love

Feelings, for all my life I’ll feel it
I wish I’ve never met you, girl; you’ll never come again

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feel you again in my arms

Feelings, feelings like I’ve never lost you
And feelings like I’ve never have you again in my heart

Feelings, for all my life I’ll feel it
I wish I’ve never met you, girl; you’ll never come again

Feelings, feelings like I’ve never lost you
And feelings like I’ve never have you again in my life

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feelings again in my arms

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feelings again in my arms

A Glimpse in Time


A Glimpse in Time


A video plays in my head

as my body drags itself 

from the long night’s dream. 


The images continue 

holding me

their plangent grip

hurting but healing 

as the dream itself 

fades from memory.


Because it was of you

I let the screen run on

seeking to retain

its fast fading force 

Visions of a possible future 

wherein I wake each day

to your warmth

Live in the  shade 

of your love 

Gaining strength from your fortitude

Resolution from our nearness. 


As the images disappear 

I attempt to grasp their dying light  

urging their resurrection 

to heal my fading hopes.


But all now is lost

and I am left 

Defeated by a glimpse 

of what might have been. 




Derek Walcott … ‘Love After Love’

(No.65 of my favourite short poems)


‘Love After Love’ – Created with ‘Word Art’ … WHB – 2017 

Sir Derek Alton Walcott was born in the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia in 1930.  Although a widely respected painter, he is best known as both a poet and playwright.  He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was Professor of Poetry at the University of Essex from 2010 to 2013.   He won a MacArthur “genius” award, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry, and many other literary honours.  He died in St Lucia in 2017.

Composed in free verse, without rhyme or any regular poetic metre, this lovely short poem celebrates the self as finally accepting who and what we are.  Life experience can bring sadness, but there is hope for redemption and an optimistic future.  We can and do change, and are ultimately able to show our true self.


Love After Love – Poem by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.


Below are links to two, quite different, readings of this poem from YouTube . . .

‘Love After Love’ read by Tim Hidddlestone

‘Love After Love’ read by David Whyte



‘Strange Fruits’

One of the most moving, nay harrowing, poems I know, is one called ‘Strange Fruits’. The poem was written by an American teacher, Abel Meeropol and first published in 1937.

It is an out-and-out protest song, a fiercely evocative cry against the lynching of black African Americans in the southern states of the USA. The poem’s author himself composed the music to which his poem was sung, most famously by Billie Holiday, who recorded it in 1939.


 Many artists have recorded the song since, but I want particularly to bring to your notice a cover version sung by Nina Simone.  Her haunting rendering of the song is soulful, dramatic and extremely moving.  I have chosen a video version which enables the listener to concentrate on the words and their meanings rather than the violent images which are available on some of the video recordings of this song which, should you wish to see, can be found on YouTube.  The haunting falling tone Nina Simone uses in the last verse will forever be seared on my memory.

You will find the video by clicking on this YouTube link …   ‘Strange Fruits’




THE WESTMINSTER CHORUS  is an all male A Capella, Barbershop, Choral singing group based in Southern California.   I would like to recommend them to all my blog followers.

Many of their recordings are available on YouTube,  but I have chosen one in particular as being a particular favourite of mine.  In order to get the finest quality of acoustics the group recorded a number of sound videos in a church in Germany.   The sound quality on this particular YouTube recording could be improved, but nevertheless I hope you will find their singing of this beautiful song highly  impressive and will recognise that it reaches perhaps the highest possible level of a capella choral singing.

Westminster Chorus, singing a David Phelps arrangement of the George Matheson Hymn, “Oh Love, That Will Not Let Me Go” in the Petrikirche, a Protestant church (start of construction 1322) in Dortmund, Germany.  The church is famous for the huge carved altar (known as “Golden Miracle of Dortmund”), from 1521, which consists of 633 gilt carved oak figures depicting 30 scenes about Easter.

Click on the link below to watch and listen . . . 

‘OH Love, That Will Not Let Me Go’

Adjust the volume as you wish and expand to full screen.
The group recorded more songs in this particular setting, and there are many more recorded in a variety of settings.   The group’s personnel have changed over the years but their standards remain exceptionally high.   It is well worth exploring their other recordings, many of them on YouTube.