I don’t have the heart to cull them.
I don’t have the heart to cull them.
On the way into work this morning, I heard Simon Armitage and Nikita Gill discussing the power of poetry, as today is National Poetry Day.
When asked should poetry speak inherently to the issues of the day, the UK Poet Laureate replied with something like that ‘All poems are political; all writing is political and pretending otherwise is also political’ (not a real quote, I was driving, so I hope that I’m representing him accurately).
Nikita Gill agreed and then read one from her new collection ‘Great Goddesses’ – which I will be seeking out because I found her to be very compelling.
It left me wondering what my earliest experience of ‘truth to power’ poetry was. I suspect it was For Want of a Nail (Anon).
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all from the want of a horseshoe nail.
One of the few poems that I have memorised in recent years is the following – one of the most (painfully) accurate poems I have ever read.
He tells her that the Earth is flat—
He knows the facts, and that is that.
In altercations fierce and long
She tries her best to prove him wrong.
But he has learned to argue well.
He calls her arguments unsound
And often asks her not to yell.
She cannot win. He stands his ground.
The planet goes on being round.
Other poems that have seemed to be in line with this years theme of ‘Truth’ include
There is a wildness still in England that will not feed
In cages; it shrinks away from the touch of the trainer’s hand,
Easy to kill, not easy to tame. It will never breed
In a zoo for the public pleasure. It will not be planned.
Do not blame us too much if we that are hedgerow folk
Cannot swell the rejoicings at this new world you make –
We, hedge-hogged as Johnson or Borrow, strange to the yoke
As Landor, surly as Cobbett (that badger), birdlike as Blake.
A new scent troubles the air — to you, friendly perhaps
But we with animal wisdom have understood that smell.
To all our kind its message is Guns, Ferrets, and Traps,
And a Ministry gassing the little holes in which we dwell.
Though, if I’m sticking to the Truth, I have to say that the C.S. Lewis that has most stayed with me across my life is from The Magicians Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia)
“Make your choice, adventurous Stranger,
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you man,
What would have followed if you had”
And a new one for me – thought this Irish poem is believed to date back to the ninth century:
My tidings for you: the stag bells,
Winter snows, summer is gone.
Wind high and cold, low the sun,
Short his course, sea running high.
Deep-red the bracken, its shape all gone
The wild-goose has raised his wonted cry.
Cold has caught the wings of birds;
Season of ice—these are my tidings.
Season of ice – definitely apt for today. Brrrrrr
Found on twitter but with no note as to the original creator. If you know, drop me a comment and I’ll credit.
[image from Brooklyn Nine Nine
Gina, wearing headphones, is entranced by music with the caption ‘me listening to ‘rumours’ while Terry is in the background, battling with a suspect with 2 other officers captioned ‘Fleetwood Mac making ‘rumours’]
Attempted to visit Swinsty reservoir last weekend, but hadn’t realised there was a cycling event so the roads to it were all closed.
So instead I popped into Golden Acre Park for a wander and was delighted to find so many flowers still in bloom.
Brave little buds – all my petals have fallen off in the shock of returning to a cold, blustery Autumn! And that’s was before Lorenzo swung by.
And the place was packed – lovers young and old(er) holding hands and stopping every few steps for a smooch; families wrapped up warm enjoying an ice-lolly (shiver!); a huge cyclist painstakingly convincing a tiny one to give it a go without the training wheels – I couldn’t help but applaud when the little lad hollered ‘look dad! I’m doing it’ triumphantly!
I was also particularly thrilled to see so many areas dedicated to wildflowers. There were quite a few gorgeous little mini-meadows.
Next time, I’ll have a proper explore. I know there are loads of walks but I’ve only ever really visited the gardens.
My agapanthus has bloomed!
And another view because I’m so chuffed with it!!
Burn baby burn…
And if you manage to read it WITHOUT singing it to the spider man theme, you’re a stronger person than I am!
Original tweet by @ASHJWilliamson
Spider brooch, spider brooch,
holds Prime Minister beyond reproach.
Hubristic guys, cut down to size.
Proroguation was based on lies.
Look out! Here comes the spider brooch.
[photo of Lady Hale and her fabulous spider brooch]
If you can’t view the image above, here’s the text 🙂
“#Nature is a tool we can use to repair our broken climate.”
But 1000x more is spent on fossil fuel subsidies than #NatureBasedSolutions
Admit to having a tiny tear at this.
Spotted on twitter, via @Pimlicat – here’s her tweet:
The late, great Charles Kennedy lamented that no one made the positive case for Europe. Today, that changes and I couldn’t be prouder. Where we stand, Europe stands with us: #WhereWeStand