It’s funny how things can puzzle you for years, until suddenly, someone else’s point of view provides the missing jigsaw piece. Talking about the forthcoming Wilfred Owen film, The Burying Party, with director Richard Weston, recently gave me a new perspective on one of Owen’s more obscure poems, Six o’clock on Princes Street, which I’ve never previously understood.
I’m sitting by myself in the Wetherspoons at Liverpool Lime Street station, in the pre-weekend hubbub of a humid Friday afternoon. There’s a poetry book on the table in front of me, a film script on my phone, and I’m waiting for a man I’ve never met to arrive on the London train. How did this happen? Continue reading
One of the things I love about Helen’s weekly prompt to share a song is the glimpse it gives me into the lives of people in different countries. This week’s theme – a song about the armed forces – is inspired by the fact that it’s Memorial Day in the United States. I’d never heard of this before, but thanks to Helen and Wikipedia I now know that it’s a federal holiday at the end of May to honour those who died while serving in the armed forces. Continue reading
Edward Lear was born on this day in 1812. In case you didn’t know, he’s the writer of what has been called “the nation’s favourite poem”, The Owl and the Pussycat. (I presume in this case “the nation” in question is England, rather than the UK, as I can’t imagine that the Scots would choose Lear over Burns, or the Welsh rate him ahead of Dylan Thomas, but that’s another matter).
When we two parted
In silence and tears
Half broken hearted
To sever for years
Pale grew thy cheek, and cold
Colder thy kiss
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.
My blogger friend Peter of Peter’s Ponderings recommended this blog to me – I clicked on the link and found this lovely poem, which made me cry so I’m sharing it!
The girls in my back yard
Are running to and fro:
They’re dashing through a sprinkler,
And laughing as they go
The grass is green and rich,
The fence is high and far;
There’s brewing tea out in the sun
Inside a big glass jar
My wife is at my side,
We’re watching the “stampede” –
We see the world, and it is good.
There’s nothing left to need
The girls in my back yard:
My God, I love them so,
Though they grew up and moved away
So many years ago
Yes, long ago they laughed,
Along with my late wife —
From this back door, I hear, and feel
What used to be
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee. Continue reading