Friday, May 23, 2008

Poetry Friday - 12

I've decided I hate Fridays! I got paid again today - and for the third fortnight in a row, my wages were incorrect (I'm nearly £200 short). I wouldn't have believed it was possible for someone to be so consistently incompetent if I hadn't experienced it first hand.

And not even the arrival of my ticket for the Doctor Who Prom (paid for by friends as a treat) has really cheered me up... (At least my bruises from that fall I took a couple of weeks ago have finally faded !)

* * * * * *

Putting that aside (otherwise the air'll be blue around here), I have the following poem from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as my Poetry Friday contribution this week.


Into the darkness and the hush of night
Slowly the landscape sinks, and fades away,
And with it fade the phantoms of the day,
The ghosts of men and things, that haunt the
The crowd, the clamor, the pursuit, the flight,
The unprofitable splendor and display,
The agitations, and the cares that prey
Upon our hearts, all vanish out of sight.
The better life begins; the world no more
Molests us; all its records we erase
From the dull common-place book of our lives,
That like a palimpsest is written o'er
With trivial incidents of time and place,
And lo! the ideal, hidden beneath, revives.

This week's Poetry Friday round-up is over at Becky's Book Reviews...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Poetry Friday - 11

We had our summer last weekend, now we're back to having Spring (by which I mean rain interspersed with sunshine), so this poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins sprang (ho, ho !) to mind:


Nothing is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.-Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

GMH's poetry always seems to soothe my ear as well as my mind - the rhythms and the word choices focus my mind beautifully...

This week's Poetry Friday round-up is over at Two Writing Teachers.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Poetry Friday - 10


I'm beginning to wonder if my Fridays are jinxed ! I got paid today although it appears that my boss still didn't sort out the screw up of my wages from two weeks ago (waiting for my pay slip to arrive so I can cross check it with my pay claims and find out for sure). But since I had money - and an unexpected afternoon off (after working flat out all last weekend, despite it being a public holiday weekend), I went out to do some errands earlier, and I managed to twist my ankle on one of our dodgy local pavements. Trouble was, I didn't just twist my ankle, I lost my balance as well...

So now I have one bruised and swollen left knee, one bruised and swollen left wrist, and one bruised and swollen right arm from inside wrist to outer elbow...

Oh AND a sore right ankle.

The only thing I didn't HIT was my head - and that's probably only because everything else had already come into contact with the ground or the nearby bench (that my right arm hit) before my head could get there !

And of course, my dignity is bruised, but at least no one can see THAT !!

I was picked up by two lovely chaps who were sitting outside the cafe opposite which I took my tumble and one, the cafe owner, fetched me a large cup of cold water after checking I hadn't hit my head and didn't need an ambulance.

Life - why do you hate me so much?

Anyway, I've been meaning to share this poem by John Betjeman for a few weeks now, so here it is without further ado:

Diary of a Church Mouse

Here among long-discarded cassocks,
Damp stools, and half-split open hassocks,
Here where the Vicar never looks
I nibble through old service books.
Lean and alone I spend my days
Behind this Church of England baize.
I share my dark forgotten room
With two oil-lamps and half a broom.
The cleaner never bothers me,
So here I eat my frugal tea.
My bread is sawdust mixed with straw;
My jam is polish for the floor.
Christmas and Easter may be feasts
For congregations and for priests,
And so may Whitsun. All the same,
They do not fill my meagre frame. For me the only feast at all
Is Autumn's Harvest Festival,
When I can satisfy my want
With ears of corn around the font.
I climb the eagle's brazen head
To burrow through a loaf of bread.
I scramble up the pulpit stair
And gnaw the marrows hanging there.
It is enjoyable to taste
These items ere they go to waste,
But how annoying when one finds
That other mice with pagan minds
Come into church my food to share
Who have no proper business there.
Two field mice who have no desire
To be baptized, invade the choir.
A large and most unfriendly rat
Comes in to see what we are at.
He says he thinks there is no God
And yet he comes... it's rather odd.
This year he stole a sheaf of wheat
(It screened our special preacher's seat),
And prosperous mice from fields away
Come in to hear the organ play,
And under cover of its notes
Ate through the altar's sheaf of oats.
A Low Church mouse, who thinks that I
Am too papistical, and High,
Yet somehow doesn't think it wrong
To munch through Harvest Evensong,
While I, who starve the whole year through,
Must share my food with rodents who
Except at this time of the year
Not once inside the church appear.
Within the human world I know
Such goings-on could not be so,
For human beings only do
What their religion tells them to.
They read the Bible every day
And always, night and morning, pray,
And just like me, the good church mouse,
Worship each week in God's own house,
But all the same it's strange to me
How very full the church can be
With people I don't' see at all
Except at Harvest Festival.

This week's poetry round-up is over at Writer2be.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Poetry Friday - 9

The past week has mostly left me cranky (mostly thanks to my boss screwing up my wages last week and then HR refusing to sort the matter out before I get paid next week), so I've been wallowing in some of my poetry "old favourites" to cheer myself up and I thought I'd share one of them with you for my Poetry Friday contribution:

To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time

Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a flying:
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious Lamp of Heaven, the Sun,
The higher he's a getting;
The sooner will his Race be run,
And nearer he's to Setting.

That Age is best, which is the first,
When Youth and Blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times, still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time;
And while ye may, goe marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

- Robert Herrick

This week's PF round-up is over at Big A, little a so hop on over and see what the Bloggers are sharing this week.