Friday Poetry: Jackie Kay

Hello!

I will be honest I keep forgetting it is Friday, so it is lucky I have remembered the Friday poetry post. On Sunday the limbo will end because it is all back to work and the break is sadly over but this does mean I will know what day of the week it is.

My chosen poem this week is one by Jackie Kay and I have chosen it as I think it is perfect for New Year.

Promise

Remember, the time of year
when the future appears
like a blank sheet of paper
a clean calendar, a new chance.
On thick white snow
You vow fresh footprints
then watch them go
with the wind’s hearty gust.
Fill your glass. Here’s tae us. Promises
made to be broken, made to last.

Jackie Kay

Happy Reading!

Friday Poetry: The Friendly Beasts

Happy Friday!

It is time for another Christmas themed poem and this one is about the animals of the Christmas story. Sadly the author of this lovely poem is unknown.

The Friendly Beasts

Jesus our brother, kind and good,
Was humbly born in a stable rude,
And the friendly beasts around him stood;
Jesus our brother, kind and good.

'I,' said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
'I carried his mother up hill and down,
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town;
I,' said the donkey, shaggy and brown.

'I,' said the cow, all white and red,
'I gave him my manger for his bed,
I gave him my hay to pillow his head;
I,' said the cow, all white and red.

'I,' said the sheep, with the curly horn,
'I gave him my wool for his blanket warm;
He wore my coat on Christmas morn.
'I,' said the sheep with the curly horn.

'I,' said the dove, from the rafters high,
'Cooed him to sleep, my mate and I,
We cooed him to sleep, my mate and I;
I,' said the dove, from the rafters high.

And every beast, by some good spell,
In the stable dark, was glad to tell,
Of the gift he gave Emmanuel,
The gift he gave Emmanuel.

Happy Reading

Friday Poetry: Christina Rossetti

Happy Friday!

This month I have decided to do something different. This month I am dedicating to my favourite poet Christina Rossetti. This means that each Friday of November I will post a poem by Rossetti.

Apologies if you do not like Rossetti but she is my absolute favourite.

A Pin

A pin has a head, but has no hair;
A clock has a face, but no mouth there;
Needles have eyes, but they cannot see;
A fly has a trunk without lock or key;
A timepiece may lose, but cannot win;
A corn-field dimples without a chin;
A hill has no leg, but has a foot;
A wine-glass a stem, but not a root;
A watch has hands, but no thumb or finger;
A boot has a tongue, but is no singer;
Rivers run, though they have no feet;
A saw has teeth, but it does not eat;
Ash-trees have keys, yet never a lock;
And baby crows, without being a cock.

Christina Rossetti

Have a good weekend everyone!

Happy Reading!

Friday Poetry: William Shakespeare

Happy Friday!

I have gone for another Shakespeare Sonnet and this one I think is perfect for Autumn.

Sonnet 73

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
William Shakespeare
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First Lines Friday: 9/10/2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

 

It’s time to get guessing that book! The answer is below the cats.

“When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist. They called me nymph, assuming I would be like my mother and aunts and thousand cousins.”

 

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and the answer is…

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In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Drop me a link with your First Lines Friday and I will head over for a visit.

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Friday Poetry: T. E. Hulme

Happy Friday!

I hope you all have fantastic weekend plans which involves books, snuggly blankets and a hot chocolate or two.

Due to it being Autumn I have chosen an Autumn poem.

 

Autumn

A touch of cold in the Autumn night –

I walked abroad,

And saw the ruddy moon lean over hedge

Like a red-faced farmer.

I did not stop to speak, but nodded,

And round about were the wistful stars

With white faces like town children.

 

T. E. Hulme

 

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Friday Poetry: William Shakespeare

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope everyone has some good book plans this weekend.

The poem I have chosen is actually one of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

 

Sonnet Number 8

Music to hear, why hear’st thou music sadly?

Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy;

Why lov’st thou that which thou receiv’st not gladly,

Or else receiv’st with pleasure thine annoy?

If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,

By unions married, do offend thine ear,

They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds

In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.

Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,

Strikes each in each by mutual ordering;

Resembling sire, and child, and happy mother,

Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing;

Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one,

Sings this to thee: ‘Thou single wilt prove none.’

 

William Shakespeare

 

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Friday Poetry: Anon

Happy Friday!

This little poem is one I learnt at primary school and it has always stuck with me so I thought I would share it today.

 

Thirty Days Hath September

Thirty days hath September,

April, June, and November;

All the rest have thirty-one,

Except for February alone,

And that has twenty-eight days clear

And twenty-nine in each leap year.

 

Anon

Have a good weekend!

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First Line Friday: 18/09/2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

 

Happy Friday!

It is time to guess that book. As per usual the answer is below the cats.

“Anna peered through the window of the gatehouse, watching the chariot trundling through below, enjoying the rich sensuousness of the new silk gown she was wearing, and conscious of her parents’ expectations of her.”

 

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ANSWER

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Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to insure the royal succession. Now forty-six, overweight and unwell, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe’s most eligible princesses, but Anna of Kleve—a small German duchy—is twenty-four and eager to wed. Henry requests Anna’s portrait from his court painter, who enhances her looks, painting her straight-on in order not to emphasize her rather long nose. Henry is entranced by the lovely image, only to be bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. She is pleasant looking, just not the lady that Henry had expected.

What follows is a fascinating story of this awkward royal union that had to somehow be terminated tactfully. Alison Weir takes a fresh and surprising look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone in a royal court that rejected her from the day she arrived.

Please drop me a comment with your First Line Friday and I will head over for a visit.

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Friday Poetry: Hugo Williams

Happy Friday!

Today is an unusual one for me because I have no teaching! Usually I have some lessons to teach but everyone is on holiday so that means I get an extra day off which is nice. Hopefully this means a little bit more reading.

The chosen poem for this week is by Hugo Williams. I must admit I hate a nettle sting hence why I have chosen this poem. I do like nettle tea though, very calming.

Joy

Not so much a sting

as a faint burn

 

not so much a pain

as the memory of pain

 

the memory of tears

flowing freely down cheeks

 

in a sort of joy

that there was nothing

 

worse in the world

than stinging nettle stings

 

and nothing better

than cool dock leaves.

 

Hugo Williams

 

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