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Poetry it or hate it?

(161 Posts)
Jacey Tue 01-Nov-11 21:23:10

Came across one of my favourite poems today ...seemed the right day to share it ...

No sun - No moon
No morn - No noon
No dawn- No dusk -No proper time of day
No sky- No earthly view
No distance looking blue
No warmth- No cheerfulness- No healthful ease
No comfortable feel in any member
No shade-No shine-No butterflies - No bees
No fruits - No flowers - No leaves - No birds

Thomas Hood "No" 1844

I just wondered if any one else would like to share a poem that brings them pleasure? smile

goldengirl Tue 01-Nov-11 21:42:54

I was introduced to the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins at school. I'm not a religious person but his imagery is amazing. Our teacher had a gift of explaining the poems without killing them - a rarity I think. My father also used to enjoy poetry and shared his love of it with me. I have to be in the mood though. I can't sit and read it like a book but I do like all sorts. It needs to be spoken out loud though really though some of the poets today can't read it properly - they always put on a special poetry voice.

Is poetry discussed in schools today rather than dissected? I used to enjoy learning it but some of the modern stuff I must admit leaves me cold. Japanese Haiku is thought provoking too..... Hmm you've got me thinking I must look some out.

Annobel Tue 01-Nov-11 21:47:41

How about thinking up some haikus? Some advice here:


jingle Tue 01-Nov-11 23:01:01

I used to read poetry. I went through a phase of reading loads of it. Then it seemed to pass and I don't know why.

I can't make head or tail of most of Gerard Manley-Hopkins' to be honest, although there was just one that I did like. Can't remember now what is was. hmm

The November poem always seemed more "right" years ago. November just isn't what it used to be! Round here we don't get the fogs like we used to. We sat out in the garden to eat our sandwiches at lunch time!

jingle Tue 01-Nov-11 23:04:18

Poetry Please on Saturday nights Radio 4 has just finished for the season. That's sad. I liked that. Roger McGough was reading the poems and he's got a good voice for it, even if you don't like his poems too much.

Quiltinggran Tue 01-Nov-11 23:19:51

I love poetry. My mother always used to quote the November poem at the beginning of the month - thank you Jacey for reminding me of that. She wrote some brilliant stuff herself too. Favourites for me include Wordsworth Tintern Abbey, Mary Oliver The Journey, Shakespeare's sonnets and many many more. I chose Carol Anny Duffy's The World's Wife to give away as my World Book Night book this year. Did anyone else go to the WBN event in Trafalgar Square on a freezing evening in March? It was brilliant.

Annobel Tue 01-Nov-11 23:25:26

My favourite poem of all

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

WB Yeats

susiecb Wed 02-Nov-11 07:52:56

Not for me I'm afraid. I did the OU Creative writing course this year and one third of it was modern poetry. I only like things like Shakespeare Sonnets and Tennyson dont get the modern stuff at all and as for Haiku! If you like poetry and other writing its a good course if not its a waste of £600.

Cant stand doggerel - you know those witty poems people make up about toilets and silly hats etc - yuk!

nanny1 Wed 02-Nov-11 08:04:33

I love this one by Jenny Joseph smile

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me,
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals,
and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired,
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells,
And run my stick along the public railings,
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens,
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat,
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go,
Or only bread and pickle for a week,
And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats
and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
And pay our rent and not swear in the street,
And set a good example for the children.
We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me
are not too shocked and surprised,
When suddenly I am old
and start to wear purple!


Carol Wed 02-Nov-11 08:08:43

That's one of my favourites, too, nanny1

jingle Wed 02-Nov-11 09:42:28

But, is there anything in that poem that you would really want to do? confused Learn to spit?! Sit on the pavement? (well, that could be quite nice if it was a sunny spot) Press alarm bells? (that happens anyway, quite frequently with our burgular alarm! blush)

Perhaps we should write our own version.

There's a thought!

Annobel Wed 02-Nov-11 09:57:45

I wear purple and yes, I'm getting old but so do my GDs - 19 and 9. So JJ is a bit out-dated now.

Carol Wed 02-Nov-11 10:29:51

There are a few things in the poem I have done because I wanted to - couldn't manage 3 lbs of sausages, regrettably, but running sticks along railings, wearing slippers in the rain (chasing the dog out of my strawberries), gobbling up samples in shops and.....picking flowers in other people's gardens - well near enough - stealing cuttings and popping them in my closed umbrella when I visit public gardens and the grounds of stately homes.

Annobel Wed 02-Nov-11 10:47:30

Carol - you are just like my mum! She was a genius at concealing the cuttings she nicked! My dad and I tried to pretend we weren't with her. I don't think she had the closed umbrella dodge but she always carried a small pair of nail scissors.

nanny1 Wed 02-Nov-11 11:14:12

I think I have done all those things except spit in the street and eat 3ibs of sausages in one go!

nanny1 Wed 02-Nov-11 11:21:43

I like Daisy Goodwin and Wendy Cope too - the irony in their poetry appeals to my sense of humour.

The lyrics of so many songs are poetry too, aren't they just words combine with music.

Stansgran Wed 02-Nov-11 11:23:21

love poetry-all the ones mentioned but I read yesterday in the paper that the oldest recorded poem is
Thirti dayes hath novembir
April june and Septembir
Of xxviij is but oon
And alle the remenaunt xxxand j
(j is used instead of i at the end of a roman numeral)
and Groucho Marx said it was his favourite poem because it was the only one which made sense.

nanny1 Wed 02-Nov-11 11:28:42

That's interesting Carol. I still think of that poem when I am trying to work out when pay day is.

bagitha Wed 02-Nov-11 11:35:04

I think Thomas Hood must have been a bit depressed when he wrote "No". There are still flowers in my garden, I saw a Red Admiral butterfly both yesterday and today, it is not cold enough to need the heating on all day, there are holly berries and cotoneaster berries still available for the many birds that visit my garden. Where was he, I wonder?

Here's a poem with a more positive feel even though it starts on a dark note.

Inversnaid - Gerard Manley Hopkins (1918)

This darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.

A windpuff-bonnet of fáwn-fróth
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitchblack, féll-frówning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.

Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

Ariadne Wed 02-Nov-11 11:47:11

Poetry is my passion, either teaching it, reading it, or writing it! And you've all talked about poets I love - Manley Hopkins, Yeats...Carole Ann Duffy and uv fanthorpe are my favourite modern ones, and Wendy Cope is hilarious and thoughtful too. And Shakespeare, of course - one for us, my friends:

"No Spring, nor Summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face."

Well, if HE says so, who am I to argue? smile

grannyactivist Wed 02-Nov-11 12:22:20

At junior school we had a teacher who used to love poetry and I remember vividly the day she chose Masefield's 'Cargoes'. She had us clapping out the rhythm and then I asked if I could read it aloud; it was that day I discovered a love of poetry that I've never lost. smile

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

FlicketyB Wed 02-Nov-11 13:19:30

Loathe the 'purple' poem it always sounds to me like a description of dementia but love Masefield's 'Cargoes'. I also fell in love with it at junior school it was the use of sounds in words to characterise the ships I so liked.

Recently listened to a R4 programme on two 19th century Yorkshire vernacular poets. One of the poems by Samuel Laycock was written on the birth of a baby during a period when trade was bad and millhands were workless and penniless. It still brings tears to my eyes, the love of a father for his child. It is quite long so I have taken a few verses out

Welcome, bonny brid (bouncing new born baby.)

Tha'rt welcome, little bonny brid,
But shouldn't ha' come just when tha did;
Toimes are bad.
We're short o' pobbies for eawr Joe
But that, of course, tha didn't know,
Did ta lad?

Aw've often yeard mi feyther tell
'At when aw coom i' th' world misel'
Trade wur slack;
And neaw it's hard wark pooin' throo—
But aw munno fear thee,-iv aw do
Thall go back

Cheer up! these toimes 'll awter soon;
Aw'm beawn to beigh another spoon—
One for thee;—
An' as tha's sich a pratty face
Aw'll let thi have eawr Charley's place
On mi knee.

(1 verse removed)

Come, come, tha needn't look so shy
Aw am no' blamin' thee, not I;
Settle deawn,
An' tak this haupney for thisel',
Ther's lots of sugar-sticks to sell
Deawn i'th' teawn.

(3 verses removed)

we've nobbut getten coarsish fare,
But' eawt o' this tha'll get thi share,
Never fear.
Aw hope tha'll never want a meal,
But allus fill thi bally weel
While tha'rt here.

But tho' we've childer two or three,
We'll mak' a bit o' reawm for thee,
Bless thee lad!
Tha'rt th' prattiest brid we have i' th' nest,
So hutch up closer to mi breast;
Aw'm thi dad.

Pobbies - Bread soaked with milk, Munno fear - Mustn't frighten,
Beawn to beigh - Going to buy, Skrikes - Shrieks or loud crying
Bally - Belly, Middlin' thrung - Rather crowded

Butternut Wed 02-Nov-11 13:38:43

I know very little about poetry, but just like what I like and this is one....


When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

- Wendell Berry

greenmossgiel Wed 02-Nov-11 13:49:15

Oh! 'Cargoes'! It brought it all back to me, and though I couldn't remember all the words, I do remember the 'da, da, da, di-da, da, da da' of the way the verses ran! Like 'Hyawatha' just rocked back and forth. Lovely! smile

jingle Wed 02-Nov-11 13:52:55

"You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat,"

You can't.

They tell you off, and say "you'll get diabetes". hmm