Friday Poetry: A. E. Housman

I’m back!

Hello everyone!

I’m so sorry I have been away for so long. Studying and assignment writing as well as working has taken its toll and sadly my poor blog has suffered. However, I am back now but I will admit that the blogging might be a bit sporadic. I am looking forward to reading everyone’s blogs again and being a part of the blogging community.

 

Yonder See the Morning Blink

Yonder see the morning blink:

The sun is up, and up must I,

 

To wash and dress and eat and drink

 

And look at things and talk and think

And work, and God knows why.

 

Oh often have I washed and dressed

And what’s to show for all my pain?

 

Let me lie abed and rest:

 

Ten thousand times I’ve done my best

And all’s to do again.

 

A. E. Housman

 

Happy Reading.

 

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Friday Poetry: John Clare

I have been reading some of my new poetry books and I rather enjoyed this poem so thought I would share it with you all.

This poem is by John Clare (1793-1864) who was an English poet who celebrated the English countryside in his poetry.

 

To the Fox Fern

Haunter of woods, lone wilds and solitudes

Where none but feet of birds and things as wild

Doth print a foot track near, where summer’s light

Buried in boughs forgets its glare and round thy crimped leaves

Feints in a quiet dimness fit for musings

And melancholy moods, with here and there

A golden thread of sunshine stealing through

The evening shadowy leaves that seem to creep

Like leisure in the shade.

 

John Clare

 

 

Friday Poetry: William Blake

It is time for the first poem of 2020!

I have really enjoyed my poetry experiment so far and so I have decided to keep going with it through 2020. I will admit I am starting to enjoy poetry! However, it is still a limited selection of poems that I am enjoying. Let’s hope that 2020 will introduce me to more poems that I love.

I have gone for a poem by William Blake. The poem is about a new born and as we are in a new born year I thought it fitted well.

 

Infant Joy

‘I have no name:

‘I am but two days old.’

What shall I call thee?

‘I am happy am,

‘Joy is my name.’

Sweet joy befall thee!

 

Pretty joy!

Sweet joy but two days old,

Sweet joy I call thee:

Thou dost smile,

I sing the while,

Sweet joy befall thee!

 

William Blake

 

 

Happy Friday!

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Friday Poetry: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Happy Twixmas!

Yes, it is that time between Christmas and New Year where we have no clue what day of the week it is and living off leftovers and chocolate. I love it!

However, I have tried to be good and remembered it is Friday so I better do a poem. I have gone for a poem based on New Year.

 

The Year

What can be said in New Year rhymes,

That’s not been said a thousand times?

 

The new years come, the old years go,

We know we dream, we dream we know.

 

We rise up laughing with the light,

We lie down weeping with the night.

 

We hug the world until it stings,

We curse it then and sigh for wings.

 

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,

We wrestle our prides, we sheet our dead.

 

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,

And that’s the burden of a year.

 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

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Tidings: A Christmas Journey by Ruth Padel (Book Review)

Tidings: A Christmas Journey by Ruth Padel

9781784741068

About the author

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Ruth Padel is a prize-winning poet, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and Reader in Poetry at King’s College London. Her most recent collections include Darwin: A Life in Poems on her great-great-grandfather Charles Darwin, The Mara Crossing on migration and immigration, and Learning to Make an Out in Nazareth on the Middle East. She lives in London, the place where she was born.

Blurb

It’s Christmas Eve and on this enchanted night Charoum, the Angel of Silence, can speak. As night turns to day, he unfolds a resonant story of a little girl, a homeless man and a fox…

In the tradition of Charles Dickens and Dylan Thomas, Tidings takes us on a journey into the heart of Christmas, showing us celebrations down the ages and across the globe – as dawn sweeps from East Australia to Bethlehem, from London to the Statue of Liberty in New York.

This is Christmas in all its magic, reminding us that it is a time not only of good tidings, but of loneliness and longing, compassion and connection.

Beautifully illustrated and exquisitely musical, Tidings is a poem to be read out loud and cherished.

Review

Wow, what a beautiful book, I am so pleased I bought this book. This book is absolutely stunning and I think it will be become a Christmas tradition to read it every Christmas in my house. It took me less than an hour to read and I could not put it down and afterwards I could not wait to tell my husband about this beautiful book I had just finished.

This is the first work by Ruth Padel that I have ever read and it will not be my last. I loved how it used the carols from the children’s church service in the poem and it was beautifully entwined together. I also loved how reminiscent of Charles Dickens the poem’s story is, it reminds us that Christmas is not just about celebrating but also about remembering that there are people out there that do not find Christmas a time of celebration but of loneliness, hunger, fear and bad memories.

The contrast between the homeless man and the little girl is brilliant. The little girl is wondering if Father Christmas got her letter about the puppy she wants, her life is full of safety, happiness, love and wanting for nothing. The homeless man is full of memories he wishes to forget. He’s hungry, unwashed, unloved and only has one friend in the world, a little fox.

This book is beautiful and if you only want to read one festive book this year or next year I fully recommend this one. I have already been recommending it to friends and family. It is definitely a festive 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

 

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Friday Poetry: Clare Bevan

Hello!

This week’s chosen poem is by Clare Bevan and I chose it because I have had a lot of students excited about acting in their school nativity plays.

 

Just Doing My Job

I’m one of Herod’s Henchmen.

We don’t have much to say,

We just charge through the audience

In a Henchman sort of way.

 

We all wear woolly helmets

To hide our hair and ears,

And wellingtons sprayed silver

To match our tinfoil spears.

 

Our swords are made of cardboard

So blood will not be spilled 

If we trip and stab a parent

When the hall’s completely filled.

 

We don’t look VERY scary,

We’re almost small and shy,

And some of us wear glasses,

But we give the thing a try.

 

We whisper Henchman noises

While Herod hunts for strangers,

And then we all charge out again

Like nervous Power Rangers.

 

Yet when the play is over

And Miss is out of breath

We’ll charge like Henchmen through the hall

And scare our mums to death.

 

Clare Bevan

 

Happy Reading

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Friday Poetry: Anne Bronte

Hello!

I am still slowly getting all the house decorated in Christmas decorations but with concerts and teaching this is taking a quite a while. Yesterday, we finally bought our Christmas tree but because it is absolutely soaking wet because all it did was rain yesterday it is in the garage drying off before it comes into the house to be decorated.

Due to all the Christmas music I am encountering at the moment I wanted a suitable poem and thankfully I have found one!

 

Music on Christmas Morning

Music I love – but never strain

Could kindle raptures so divine,

So grief assuage, so conquer pain,

And rouse this pensive heart of mine –

As that we hear on Christmas morn,

Upon the wintry breezes borne.

 

Though Darkness still her empire keep,

And hours must pass, ere morning break;

From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep,

That music kindly bids us wake:

It calls us, with an angel’s voice,

To wake, and worship, and rejoice;

 

To greet with joy the glorious morn,

Which angels welcomed long ago,

When our redeeming Lord was born,

To bring the light of Heaven below;

The Powers of Darkness to dispel,

And rescue Earth from Death and Hell.

 

While listening to that sacred strain,

My raptured spirit soars on high;

I seem to hear those songs again

Resounding through the open sky,

That kindled such divine delight,

In those who watched their flocks by night.

 

With them I celebrate His birth –

Glory to God in highest Heaven,

Good-will to men, and peace on earth,

To us a Saviour-king is given;

Our God is come to claim His own,

And Satan’s power is overthrown!

 

A sinless God, for sinful men,

Descends to suffer and to bleed;

Hell must renounce its empire then;

The price is paid, the world is freed,

And Satan’s self must now confess,

That Christ has earned a Right to bless:

 

Now holy Peace may smile from Heaven,

And heavenly Truth from earth shall spring:

The captive’s galling bonds are riven,

For our Redeemer is our King;

And He that gave His blood for men

Will lead us home to God again.

 

Anne Brontë

 

Happy Friday!

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Here are a few of the decorations so far.