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The Poetry Thread

Nov 29, 2018
6,945
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I first read this back in my school days in the ”Our Boys” magazine. It was called “He wouldn’t” but I came upon it recently again with what I presume is its correct name.

THE INCORRIGIBLE
Guy Boas

He didn't like authority; O'Kelly was his name.
He wouldn't do a stroke of work or play a single game.
They did their best to make him, but it wasn't any use.
He resisted all coercion and was deaf to all abuse.

Their efforts to instruct him he persistently ignored.
He wouldn't look at anything they wrote upon the board.
He wouldn't construe Caesar or attempt a simple sum,
And when they asked him questions he pretended he was dumb.

He wouldn't rise for early school, he wouldn't go to bed,
He wouldn't answer "Adsum" when the call-over was read;
He wouldn't blow the organ, and he wouldn't write out lines,
And when he lost the library books he wouldn't pay the fines.

He wouldn't cap the masters and he wouldn't call them "Sir;"
The prefects tried to make him fag but he declined to stir;
He was cheeky to the matron, he was saucy to the maids.
He was very insubordinate on A.T.C. parades.

He wouldn't keep in bounds, and they discovered him one day
Very early in the morning breaking out to run away.
As this clearly was the moment their authority to show,
The Head expelled O'Kelly, but O'Kelly wouldn't go.
I had never heard of Guy Boas and cannot find anything much about him other than he was English and taught at a school in Chelsea. I wonder how he came to use an Irish name for his incorrigible, was it prompted by the behaviour of a pupil of that name.
 

Cruimh

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Another great Poet from humble roots who sadly never returned from France


IN FRANCE

The silence of maternal hills
Is round me in my evening dreams,
And round me music-making bills
And mingling waves of pastoral streams.
Whatever way I turn I find
The path is old unto me still.
The hills of home are in my mind,
And there I wander as I will.

Francis Edward Ledwidge, 1916


Lament for Thomas McDonagh
by Francis Ledwidge

He shall not hear the bittern cry
In the wild sky where he is lain
Nor voices of the sweeter birds
Above the wailing of the rain.

Nor shall he know when loud March blows
Thro' slanting snows her fanfare shrill
Blowing to flame the golden cup
Of many an upset daffodil.

And when the dark cow leaves the moor
And pastures poor with greedy weeds
Perhaps he'll hear her low at morn
Lifting her horn in pleasant meads.

 

Shaadi

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Feb 16, 2019
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Resurrection Road

Follow An Slí Mór until at last it can be seen no more.
Erin’s gravel spine lies there broken by main artery.
Emerald cut stone drumlin way rent by flowing river.
Not of ice but one of lives lived since in and around.

There find past and present sat in scoped crosshairs.
Neath shadow of round tower a perfect resting place.
For weary pilgrims to embrace the water’s fresh edge.
Lungs open to be filled by driven wind of Atlantic sky .

About there I could happily take to glacial dry ground.
Lay down for an eternity with blind eyes and deaf ears.
Endless days of western skies pierce ignorance inviting.
A resurrection to dip once more into the river of life.

Shaadi...

( I was inspired by a trip to Clonmacnoise Public Graveyard )
 
Last edited:

Gatsbygirl20

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Dec 2, 2018
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Another great Poet from humble roots who sadly never returned from France


IN FRANCE

The silence of maternal hills
Is round me in my evening dreams,
And round me music-making bills
And mingling waves of pastoral streams.
Whatever way I turn I find
The path is old unto me still.
The hills of home are in my mind,
And there I wander as I will.

Francis Edward Ledwidge, 1916


Lament for Thomas McDonagh
by Francis Ledwidge

He shall not hear the bittern cry
In the wild sky where he is lain
Nor voices of the sweeter birds
Above the wailing of the rain.

Nor shall he know when loud March blows
Thro' slanting snows her fanfare shrill
Blowing to flame the golden cup
Of many an upset daffodil.

And when the dark cow leaves the moor
And pastures poor with greedy weeds
Perhaps he'll hear her low at morn
Lifting her horn in pleasant meads.

I like Ledwidge, and indeed some of the other more neglected Georgian poets

Your poem quoted above uses the Irish amhrain style with cross rhyme, slant rhyme etc..".the golden CUP of many an UPset.." "The dark cow leaves the MOOR in pastures POOR .."

It is a perfect little poem in a way.

Ledwidge also wrote a poem called "June" which we learned in school

 

T. Leaf

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Nov 28, 2018
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I like Ledwidge, and indeed some of the other more neglected Georgian poets

Your poem quoted above uses the Irish amhrain style with cross rhyme, slant rhyme etc..".the golden CUP of many an UPset.." "The dark cow leaves the MOOR in pastures POOR .."

It is a perfect little poem in a way.

Ledwidge also wrote a poem called "June" which we learned in school

Another one I hadn't read. Thanks.
 

Cruimh

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Thomas Carnduff - the shipyard poet.

Fascinating man whose life shows some of the complexity of early 20th century Ireland.

Born off Sandy Row, raised and educated Dublin, ended up working in the Belfast Shipyards, Joined the Young Citizen Volunteers, Served in the Royal Engineers, returned to the Shipyards. Active in the Independent Orange Order but supported the Connolly Association and a friend of Peadar O'Donnell


https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/opinion/thomas-carnduff-shipyard-worker-orangeman-and-poet-who-could-be-face-northern-ireland-mark-its-centenary-3093957

The Song of the Unemployed

We built you graceful structures from a heap of clay and stone,
We fashioned out of nothing yonder proud and stately dome;
The steeples rising skywards bear the hallmark of our skill,
And the hands that shaped your mansions have the cunning in them still.

We levelled fields and ditches to the city’s outward stride,
And now you boast its greatness yet we do not share your pride;
Our picks have ranged the hillside and our shovels smoothed the plain,
That your children might have shelter, though your good was not our gain.

You flattered us in labour when our labour brought its due;
The fruits of all our sweat and toil we shared alike with you;
But now our hands lie idle and our hearts are sore with grief.
Comes the clamour of your curses – while your praises grow more brief.
 

Statsman

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This archive is a wonderful resource.

 

Cruimh

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Lear's lost limerick

There was an old man on a Bycicle,

Whose nose was adorned with an Icicle;

But they said - "If you stop,

"It will certainly drop,

& abolish both you & your Bycicle.

Made me smile anyway!
 

Statsman

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Today is John Clare's birthday.

Summer

Come we to the summer, to the summer we will come,
For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom,
And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
And love is burning diamonds in my true lover's breast;
She sits beneath the whitethorn a-plaiting of her hair,
And I will to my true lover with a fond request repair;
I will look upon her face, I will in her beauty rest,
And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely breast.

The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom of May,
The merry bee is trampling the pinky threads all day,
And the chaffinch it is brooding on its grey mossy nest
In the whitethorn bush where I will lean upon my lover's breast;
I'll lean upon her breast and I'll whisper in her ear
That I cannot get a wink o'sleep for thinking of my dear;
I hunger at my meat and I daily fade away
Like the hedge rose that is broken in the heat of the day.
 

T. Leaf

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Nov 28, 2018
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Today is John Clare's birthday.

Summer

Come we to the summer, to the summer we will come,
For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom,
And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
And love is burning diamonds in my true lover's breast;
She sits beneath the whitethorn a-plaiting of her hair,
And I will to my true lover with a fond request repair;
I will look upon her face, I will in her beauty rest,
And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely breast.

The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom of May,
The merry bee is trampling the pinky threads all day,
And the chaffinch it is brooding on its grey mossy nest
In the whitethorn bush where I will lean upon my lover's breast;
I'll lean upon her breast and I'll whisper in her ear
That I cannot get a wink o'sleep for thinking of my dear;
I hunger at my meat and I daily fade away
Like the hedge rose that is broken in the heat of the day.
Nice. Nice is a word which has taken a battering for decades as being too insipid, but sometimes Nice is just what you need.
 

Statsman

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Nice. Nice is a word which has taken a battering for decades as being too insipid, but sometimes Nice is just what you need.
I couldn't agree more.
 

Cruimh

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The Suicide



And this, ladies and gentlemen, whom I am not in fact

Conducting, was his office all those minutes ago,

This man you never heard of. These are the bills

In the intray, the ash in the ashtray, the grey memoranda stacked

Against him, the serried ranks of the box-files, the packed

Jury of his unanswered correspondence

Nodding under the paperweight in the breeze

From the window by which he left; and here is the cracked

Receiver that never got mended and here is the jotter

With his last doodle which might be his own digestive tract

Ulcer and all or might be the flowery maze

Through which he had wandered deliciously till he stumbled

Suddenly finally conscious of all he lacked

On a manhole under the hollyhocks. The pencil

Point had obviously broken, yet, when he left this room

By catdrop sleight-of-foot or simple vanishing act,

To those who knew him for all that mess in the street

This man with the shy smile has left behind

Something that was intact.



-- Louis MacNeice.

 

Cruimh

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The Fairies

Up the airy mountains
Down the rushy Glen,
We dare not go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And a white owl's feather.

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow-tide foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music,
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen,
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget,

For seven years long;
When she came down again
All her friends were gone.
They took her lightly back
Between the night and morrow;
They thought she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake
On a bed of flag leaves
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hill-side
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite?
He shall find the thornies
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountains
Down the rushy glen,
We dare not go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And a white owl's feather.
--William Allingham

 

T. Leaf

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Nov 28, 2018
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The Fairies

Up the airy mountains
Down the rushy Glen,
We dare not go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And a white owl's feather.

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow-tide foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music,
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen,
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget,

For seven years long;
When she came down again
All her friends were gone.
They took her lightly back
Between the night and morrow;
They thought she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake
On a bed of flag leaves
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hill-side
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite?
He shall find the thornies
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountains
Down the rushy glen,
We dare not go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And a white owl's feather.
--William Allingham

One of the ones i learned in school.
 

Cruimh

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The Beggars


You didn't know
what was in the heap. A visitor found
it to contain beggars. They sell the hollow
of their hands.

They show the sightseer
their mouths full of filth,
and let him (he can afford it) peer
at the mange eating away at them.

In their twisted vision
his stranger's face is skewed;
they are pleased with their accession,
and when he speaks they spew.
 

Cruimh

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AFTER AN ILLNESS, WALKING THE DOG


Wet things smell stronger,
and I suppose his main regret is that
he can sniff just one at a time.
In a frenzy of delight
he runs way up the sandy road—
scored by freshets after five days
of rain. Every pebble gleams, every leaf.

When I whistle he halts abruptly
and steps in a circle,
swings his extravagant tail.
Then he rolls and rubs his muzzle
in a particular place, while the drizzle
falls without cease, and Queen Anne’s lace
and Goldenrod bend low.

The top of the logging road stands open
and light. Another day, before
hunting starts, we’ll see how far it goes,
leaving word first at home.
The footing is ambiguous.

Soaked and muddy, the dog drops,
panting, and looks up with what amounts
to a grin. It’s so good to be uphill with him,
nicely winded, and looking down on the pond.

A sound commences in my left ear
like the sound of the sea in a shell;
a downward, vertiginous drag comes with it.
Time to head home. I wait
until we’re nearly out to the main road
to put him back on the leash, and he
—the designated optimist—
imagines to the end that he is free.

 

bang bang

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Dec 5, 2018
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There are two threads on here about music and one about books, but none, as far as I can see, about poetry.

I’ve often heard people say that they were put off poetry during their school days by being made to learn poems off by heart. It was during my own school days that I first became acquainted with poetry through various poems in the readers we used. We never had to learn them by heart, merely read them out loud, even though we had a teacher who was a carbon copy of the teacher in “Weep for our Pride”, the short story by James Plunkett.

My first interest in many a poem was because it was chosen as one of the poems to read and I then looked out for other poems by that writer. What I discovered, to my pleasure, was that – unlike a short story or a book – you could memorise a poem and carry it around in your head and quote it silently for yourself any time you wished. Your own entertainment, with you always!

My preference is for rhyming poetry, but I can enjoy all kinds, as long as it says something to me that I can connect with and says it stylishly. I have found lots of poems – both rhyming and non-rhyming - even from well-known poets, to be drab and lifeless. Often it is not so much the subject, as a poor use of words which causes the problem.

This thread is for people to discuss poetry if they want to, but – above all – to post up the poems they like themselves, whether modern or ancient , conventional or unconventional, although it may be not be technically possible on here to post up poetry which relies as much on space as on words for its effects.

To start off with there is this one by Stevie Smith which was recently the subject of a question on The Chase quiz.

Not Waving but Drowning By Stevie Smith

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

There is a Wikkipaedia entry on the poem, here:

Not Waving But Drowning

I found this next one in Walter De La Mare’s Huge Anthology, “Come Hither”

I stayed in my mind for years (it’s still there) and I even wrote a children’s novel (unpublished) based on the ghostly character.

Lydia Is Gone This Many A Year by Lyzette Woodworth Reese

Lydia is gone this many a year,
Yet when the lilacs stir,
In the old gardens far or near,
The house is full of her.

They climb the twisted chamber stair;
Her picture haunts the room;
On the carved shelf beneath it there,
They heap the purple bloom.

A ghost so long has Lydia been,
Her cloak upon the wall,
Broidered, and gilt, and faded green,
Seems not her cloak at all.

The book, the box on mantel laid,
The shells in a pale row,
Are those of some dim little maid,
A thousand years ago.

And yet the house is full of her;
She goes and comes again;
And longings thrill, and memories stir,
Like lilacs in the rain.

Out in their yards the neighbors walk,
Among the blossoms tall;
Of Anne, of Phyllis, do they talk,
Of Lydia not at all.
 

bang bang

Member
Dec 5, 2018
534
339
There are two threads on here about music and one about books, but none, as far as I can see, about poetry.

I’ve often heard people say that they were put off poetry during their school days by being made to learn poems off by heart. It was during my own school days that I first became acquainted with poetry through various poems in the readers we used. We never had to learn them by heart, merely read them out loud, even though we had a teacher who was a carbon copy of the teacher in “Weep for our Pride”, the short story by James Plunkett.

My first interest in many a poem was because it was chosen as one of the poems to read and I then looked out for other poems by that writer. What I discovered, to my pleasure, was that – unlike a short story or a book – you could memorise a poem and carry it around in your head and quote it silently for yourself any time you wished. Your own entertainment, with you always!

My preference is for rhyming poetry, but I can enjoy all kinds, as long as it says something to me that I can connect with and says it stylishly. I have found lots of poems – both rhyming and non-rhyming - even from well-known poets, to be drab and lifeless. Often it is not so much the subject, as a poor use of words which causes the problem.

This thread is for people to discuss poetry if they want to, but – above all – to post up the poems they like themselves, whether modern or ancient , conventional or unconventional, although it may be not be technically possible on here to post up poetry which relies as much on space as on words for its effects.

To start off with there is this one by Stevie Smith which was recently the subject of a question on The Chase quiz.

Not Waving but Drowning By Stevie Smith

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

There is a Wikkipaedia entry on the poem, here:

Not Waving But Drowning

I found this next one in Walter De La Mare’s Huge Anthology, “Come Hither”

I stayed in my mind for years (it’s still there) and I even wrote a children’s novel (unpublished) based on the ghostly character.

Lydia Is Gone This Many A Year by Lyzette Woodworth Reese

Lydia is gone this many a year,
Yet when the lilacs stir,
In the old gardens far or near,
The house is full of her.

They climb the twisted chamber stair;
Her picture haunts the room;
On the carved shelf beneath it there,
They heap the purple bloom.

A ghost so long has Lydia been,
Her cloak upon the wall,
Broidered, and gilt, and faded green,
Seems not her cloak at all.

The book, the box on mantel laid,
The shells in a pale row,
Are those of some dim little maid,
A thousand years ago.

And yet the house is full of her;
She goes and comes again;
And longings thrill, and memories stir,
Like lilacs in the rain.

Out in their yards the neighbors walk,
Among the blossoms tall;
Of Anne, of Phyllis, do they talk,
Of Lydia not at all.
 

bang bang

Member
Dec 5, 2018
534
339
No offence (he said without a great deal of hope) but personally I'd be forced to classify that as doggerel.

Would that I could do otherwise, but in my time I've written some of it myself.

And eventually burned it.

But so it goes.
I politely disagree, Sands wrote some good stuff under difficult circumstances.
Re your goodself, I'd imagine you're no Bobby Sands, in fairness.
 

Mitsui2

Member
Nov 30, 2018
1,412
2,777
Between Time and Timbuktu
Re your goodself, I'd imagine you're no Bobby Sands, in fairness.
You perhaps wouldn't really credit in just how many ways I thank (with brief thanksgiving, as the fella said) whatever Gods there be that I am in very many ways "no Bobby Sands."

Some of which ways are very possibly far more to his credit than mine.

But in our ability to write doggerel I think we're possibly (in equal fairness) on a par.
 

Cruimh

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O Bay of Dublin

O Bay of Dublin! My heart you're troublin'

Your beauty haunts me like a fevered dream,

Like frozen fountains that the sun sets bubblin',

My heart's blood warms when I but hear your name.

And never till this life pulse ceases,

My earliest thoughts you'll cease to be;

O there's no one here knows how fair that place is,

And no one cares how dear it is to me.


Sweet Wicklow mountains! The sunlight sleeping

On your green banks is a picture rare;

You crowd around me like young girls peeping,

And puzzling me to say which is most fair;

As though you'd see your own sweet faces,

Reflected in that smooth and silver sea,

O! my blessing on those lovely places,

Though no one cares how dear they are to me.
 

publicrealm

Member
Nov 27, 2018
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I'm working on a poem - it's still in draft:


The trees are in their Autumn beauty
The woodland paths are dry;
Under the October twilight
The water is full of beer cans and green slime;
It's a crime.


I feel that the last line needs something?
 
Last edited:

soccop

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Temporally dislocated.
I'm working on a poem - it's still in draft:


The trees are in their Autumn beauty
The woodland paths are dry;
Under the October twilight
The water is full of beer cans and green slime;
It's a crime.

I feel that the last line needs something?
Something that rhymes with algae?
 
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