Friday Poetry: Edith Nesbit

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has had a good week and has some fun plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem this week is by the poet and author Edith Nesbit (1858-1924).

Spring Song

All winter through I sat alone,
Doors barred and windows shuttered fast,
And listened to the wind's faint moan moan,
And ghostly mutterings of the past;
And in the pauses of the rain,
Mid whispers of dead sorrow and sin,
Love tapped upon the window pane:
I had no heart to let him in.

But now, with spring, my doors stand wide;
My windows let delight creep through;
I hear the skylark sing outside;
I see the crocus, golden new.
The pigeons on my window-sill,
Winging and wooing, flirt and flout,-
Now Love must enter if he will,
I have no heart to keep him out. 

Edith Nesbit

Happy Reading!



Friday Poetry: Anon

Hello Eveyone!

Apologies for the lack of posting but this week has not been a good week. For this reason I am posting an old favourite to cheer myself up.

Bobby Shaftoe

Bobby Shaftoe's gone to sea, 
Silver buckles on his knee;
He'll come back and marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe. 

Bobby Shaftoe's bright and fair,
Combing down his yellow hair,
He's my ain for evermair,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe.

Bobby Shaftoe's tall and slim,
Always dressed so neat and trim,
The ladies they all keek at him,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe. 

Bobby Shaftoe's getten a bairn
For to dandle in his arms;
In his arm and on his knee,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe. 


Happy Reading


Friday Poetry: Anon

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some fab plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem this week is one that my students sing and play regularly as it is a great beginner piece.

Lavender's Blue

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly dilly, you shall be queen;
Call up your men, dilly dilly, set them to work,
Some to the plough, dilly dilly, some to the cart;
Some to make hay, dilly dilly, some to thresh corn,
Whilst you and I, dilly dilly, keep ourselves warm. 


Happy Reading


Friday Poetry: Eugene Field


My chosen poem today is by the poet Eugene Field (1850-1895). Field was an American writer, best known for his children’s poetry and humorous essays.

Wynken, Blynken and Nod

Wynken. Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden show, -
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew. 
'Where are you going, and what do you wish?'
The old moon asked the three.
'We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,'
Said Wynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea. 
'Now cast your nets wherever you wish, -
Never afraid are we!'
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
And Nod. 

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam, -
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home:
'Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
As if it could not be;
And some folk thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea;
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little heard, 
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:-
And Nod. 

Eugene Field

Happy Reading


Friday Poetry: Carolyn Wells

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some fab plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem this week is by another new poet for me. Carolyn Wells (1862-1942) was an American author and children’s poet.

A Bicycle Built for Two

There was an ambitious young eel
Who determined to ride on a wheel;
But try as he might,
He couldn't ride right, 
In spite of his ardor and zeal.

If he sat on the saddle to ride
His tail only pedalled one side;
And I'm sure you'll admit
That an eel couldn't sit
On a bicycle saddle astride.

Or if he hung over the top, 
He could go, but he never could stop;
For of course it is clear
He had no way to steer,
And under the wheel he would flop.

His neighbour, observing the fun,
Said, 'I think that the thing can be done, 
If you'll listen to me,
You'll quickly agree
That two heads are better than one. 

'And this is my project, old chap,
Around our two waists I will wrap
This beautiful belt
Of bottle-green felt
And fasten it firm with a strap.'

This done, with a dignified mien
The two squirmed up on the machine,
And rode gayly away,
Or at least, so they say,
Who witnessed the wonderful scene. 

Carolyn Wells

Happy Reading


Friday Poetry: Henry Normal

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has had a good week so far.

My chosen poem this week is by the writer, poet, TV and film producer, founder of the Manchester Poetry Festival and co-founder of the Nottingham Poetry Festival Henry Normal (1956).

Three Lies and One Truth about the Moon

1. The moon only exists at night, and occasionally during the day, in summer.

2. No one has ever landed on the moon, and the Russian President knows this but promised his mum he wouldn't say anything. 

3. The moon is a hollow spaceship inhabited by nazi rabbits that turn men into werewolves.

4. If my heart was as big as the moon I couldn't love you more.

Henry Normal

Happy Reading


Friday Poetry: Li Po

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some fun plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem today is by a Chinese poet Li Po (701-762).

Poem is translated by Shigeyoshi Obata.

Addressed Humorously to Tu Fu

Here! is this you on the top of Fan-ko Mountain,
Wearing a huge hat in the noon-day sun?
How thin, how wretchedly thin, you have grown!
You must have been suffering from poetry again. 

Li Po

Happy Reading


Friday Poetry: Charles Causley

Happy Friday!

I hope you all have some fab plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem for this week is by the English poet, school teacher and writer Charles Causley (1917-2003).

I am the Song

I am the song that sings the bird.
I am the leaf that grows the land.
I am the tide that moves the moon.
I am the stream that halts the sand.
I am the cloud that drives the storm.
I am the earth that lights the sun.
I am the fire that strikes the stone.
I am the clay that shapes the hand.
I am the word that speaks the man.

Charles Causley

Happy Reading


Friday Poetry: Claude McKay

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some fab books to read over the weekend.

My chosen poem this week is by the Jamaican- American poet and writer Claude McKay (1890-1948). McKay studied in the United States and became a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

After the Winter

Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
And against the morning's white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
Have sheltered for the night,
We'll turn our faces southward, love, 
Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire the shafted grove
And wide-mouthed orchids smile.

And we will seek the quiet hill
Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
And works the droning bee,
And we will build a cottage there
Beside an open glade,
With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,
And ferns that never fade. 

Claude McKay

Happy Reading


The Aeneid by Virgil (translated by by Frederick Ahl)(Review #3)

The Aeneid by Virgil (translated by by Frederick Ahl)


After a century of civil strife in Rome and Italy, Virgil wrote the Aeneid to honour the emperor Augustus by praising his legendary ancestor Aeneas. As a patriotic epic imitating Homer, the Aeneid also set out to provide Rome with a literature equal to that of Greece. It tells of Aeneas, survivor of the sack of Troy, and of his seven-year journey: to Carthage, where he falls tragically in love with Queen Dido; then to the underworld,; and finally to Italy, where he founds Rome. It is a story of defeat and exile, of love and war, hailed by Tennyson as ‘the stateliest measure ever moulded by the lips of man’.


I have finally finished this book! When I first started reading it I was in the middle of my Masters and this sadly had to fall by the way side. However, on the 1st January I decided to read one book a day of this book and yesterday (yes I know a day behind) I finally finished. 

The book begins in Carthage where Aeneas tells his journey to Queen Dido starting from  the fall of Troy where Aeneas and the survivors he manages to gather including his father and son flee Troy and begin their 7 year journey to find a new home. Their journey goes from Carthage, to the Underworld and finally Italy his final destination.  

My first thought about this book is what an amazing piece of propaganda. The amount of propaganda in this book really made me laugh but I think the pinnacle of it was in book 7. In book 7 Anchises shows Aeneas all the descendants that will come from his line and it is quite a list. Aeneas is basically the father of all the great leaders of Rome which seems highly improbable. 

My husband kindly treated me to see Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas opera for my birthday which I absolutely loved but I do think Purcell was rather kind to Aeneas. In truth I always found Aeneas to be a bit of an ass. Whilst he is fleeing Troy he accidentally loses his wife, he does go back and look for her but really he shouldn’t have lost her in the first place. Then what he does with Queen Dido is in my opinion absolutely awful. Yes, I know the gods had something to do with it but really the man did not show any remorse at all and was a complete b__.

The last 6 books of the book is where Aeneas and his men, and we presume some women and children as they are briefly mentioned, land in Italy and all hell breaks loose in war. I loved how all the gods get involved and even some nymphs as this really parallels with Homer’s depiction of the war of Troy. In fact Virgil is very clever with his direct links with Homer’s work. When studying my Masters it was always amazing how much the Romans wanted to be as good as the Ancient Greeks. The Romans copied their sculptures, their texts and much more but always keeping their Roman values. 

I really enjoyed this book and it was a great start to 2023 and my plan to read at least one Ancient Greek or Roman text a month. Virgil was a very talented writer who knew how to write an excellent piece of propaganda. I also loved Ahl’s translation but I knew it would be good as he is one of my favourite translators. I happily give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 


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About the author

Publius Vergilius Maro (October 15, 70 BCE – September 21, 19 BCE), usually called Virgil or Vergil /ˈvɜrdʒəl/ in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, are sometimes attributed to him.

Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome’s greatest poets. His Aeneid has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome from the time of its composition to the present day. Modeled after Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, the Aeneid follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny and arrive on the shores of Italy—in Roman mythology the founding act of Rome. Virgil’s work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature, most notably the Divine Comedy of Dante, in which Virgil appears as Dante’s guide through hell and purgatory.