Poetry Discussion

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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby Govangirl » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:43 am

numberplease, would it be Roadways?

ONE road leads to London,
One road leads to Wales,
My road leads me seawards
To the white dipping sails.

One road leads to the river,
And it goes singing slow;
My road leads to shipping,
Where the bronzed sailors go.

Leads me, lures me, calls me
To salt green tossing sea;
A road without earth's road-dust
Is the right road for me.

A wet road heaving, shining,
And wild with seagull's cries,
A mad salt sea-wind blowing
The salt spray in my eyes.

My road calls me, lures me
West, east, south, and north;
Most roads lead men homewards,
My road leads me forth.

To add more miles to the tally
Of grey miles left behind,
In quest of that one beauty
God put me here to find.
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby numberplease » Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:06 pm

Govan girl, you`re wonderful! That`s the one. Strange how Masefields poems bring pictures to the mind every time.
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby Govangirl » Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:03 pm

numberplease wrote:That`s the one. Strange how Masefields poems bring pictures to the mind every time.


I agree, and with you, it was the road and the wind. I love the imagery in his poems, especially in Sea Fever with the idea of freedom in his imagery of travelling gypsies. There's a real beauty in his words - you can feel the magic of the sea. Some of the phrases are like music: 'Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores'. :D His love and longing for the sea is so strong, even at the end of Roadways as he's journeying there: 'in quest of that one beauty/ God put me here to find.' Really beautiful.
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Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby Govangirl » Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:24 pm

I'm guessing, numberplease, that the poem about wind to which you refer must be:

The West Wind

IT'S a warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries;
I never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes.
For it comes from the west lands, the old brown hills.
And April's in the west wind, and daffodils.

It's a fine land, the west land, for hearts as tired as mine,
Apple orchards blossom there, and the air's like wine.
There is cool green grass there, where men may lie at rest,
And the thrushes are in song there, fluting from the nest.

"Will ye not come home brother? ye have been long away,
It's April, and blossom time, and white is the may;
And bright is the sun brother, and warm is the rain,--
Will ye not come home, brother, home to us again?

"The young corn is green, brother, where the rabbits run.
It's blue sky, and white clouds, and warm rain and sun.
It's song to a man's soul, brother, fire to a man's brain,
To hear the wild bees and see the merry spring again.

"Larks are singing in the west, brother, above the green wheat,
So will ye not come home, brother, and rest your tired feet?
I've a balm for bruised hearts, brother, sleep for aching eyes,"
Says the warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries.

It's the white road westwards is the road I must tread
To the green grass, the cool grass, and rest for heart and head,
To the violets, and the warm hearts, and the thrushes' song,
In the fine land, the west land, the land where I belong.

John Masefield


I remember reading this poem at school with the most wonderful English teacher that I ADORED (and Mr Govangirl hated) and we discussed it for the whole lesson then at the end she told us that in John Masefield's day, 'going West' meant dying! The whole poem took on a different meaning and honestly, I was truly, really affected by that!!!!! :shock: Can anyone confirm that?

(And if anyone is following Chuckiebay's dilemma on the Carradale thread I'm now really worried! Get therapy for him SARID!!!!)
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Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby numberplease » Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:28 pm

Yes, that`s the one!
As for "going west", my Grandma used to refer to dying as having "gone west", so there must be something in it.
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby Ags » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:39 pm

Just home from a wee night out and a few vinos so probably not the best time to post on here.....but anyway....lovely memories reading Sea Fever! Can't remember which family member - but somebody - probably the drunk ensemble - always sang these words round the piano at Christmas/family gatherings! They have very special memories and it's been great to read them on here :D
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby Govangirl » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:50 pm

It's times like these that I wish we had a wee facility for recording on this forum and then we could have had Ags singing Sea Fever! :lol:
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby Ags » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:51 am

Govangirl wrote:It's times like these that I wish we had a wee facility for recording on this forum and then we could have had Ags singing Sea Fever! :lol:


:lol: :lol: believe me missus you DO NOT want to go there :lol: the forum polis would have me locked up forever and a day :oops:
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Re: Best Christmas Poem

Postby Govangirl » Sun Dec 21, 2008 8:48 pm

What is your favourite poem about Christmas then? I was swithering between Christmas at Sea by Robert Louis Stevenson and Christmas Trees by Robert Frost until I remembered the lines from the beginning of Hamlet after Marcellus sees the ghost of Hamlet's father. I know that strictly, it's not a stand alone poem but I think it must rank among the greatest poetry written about Christmas.


Hamlet, Act I, Scene I [Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes]
by William Shakespeare


Marcellus to Horatio and Bernardo, after seeing the Ghost,

Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby rainbowsprite » Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:36 pm

Night Before Christmas
by Major Henry Livingston Jr. (1748-1828)

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

'Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONDER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!'

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby Govangirl » Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:31 am

Adrian Mitchell. 1932 - 2008

My Literary Career So Far


As I prowled through Parentheses

I met an Robin and a Owl

My Grammarboots they thrilled

like bees

My Vowelhat did gladly growl

Tis my delight each Friedegg Night

To chomp a Verbal Sandwich

Scots Consonants light up my Pants

And marinade my Heart in Language

Alphabet Soup was all my joy!

From Dreadfast up to Winnertime

I swam, a naked Pushkinboy

Up wodka vaterfalls of rhyme

And reached the summit of Blue Howl

To find a shining Suit of Words

And joined an Robin and a Owl

In good Duke Ellington's Band of Birds
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby EMDEE » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:55 am

Landrover Roger's story about the drunken Scotsman, together with with his somewhat menacing avatar, has prompted me to submit this Burns poem. We can't allow Burns' 250 anniversary to pass without some recognition and discussion.

Please discuss;

Death and Doctor Hornbook

Some books are lies frae end to end,
And some great lies were never penn'd:
Ev'n ministers they hae been kenn'd,
In holy rapture,
A rousing whid at times to vend,
And nail't wi' Scripture.

But this that I am gaun to tell,
Which lately on a night befell,
Is just as true's the Deil's in hell
Or Dublin city:
That e'er he nearer comes oursel'
'S a muckle pity.

The clachan yill had made me canty,
I was na fou, but just had plenty;
I stacher'd whiles, but yet too tent aye
To free the ditches;
An' hillocks, stanes, an' bushes, kenn'd eye
Frae ghaists an' witches.

The rising moon began to glowre
The distant Cumnock hills out-owre:
To count her horns, wi' a my pow'r,
I set mysel';
But whether she had three or four,
I cou'd na tell.

I was come round about the hill,
An' todlin down on Willie's mill,
Setting my staff wi' a' my skill,
To keep me sicker;
Tho' leeward whiles, against my will,
I took a bicker.

I there wi' Something did forgather,
That pat me in an eerie swither;
An' awfu' scythe, out-owre ae shouther,
Clear-dangling, hang;
A three-tae'd leister on the ither
Lay, large an' lang.

Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa,
The queerest shape that e'er I saw,
For fient a wame it had ava;
And then its shanks,
They were as thin, as sharp an' sma'
As cheeks o' branks.

"Guid-een," quo' I; "Friend! hae ye been mawin,
When ither folk are busy sawin!"^1
I seem'd to make a kind o' stan'
But naething spak;
At length, says I, "Friend! whare ye gaun?
Will ye go back?"

It spak right howe, - "My name is Death,
But be na fley'd."-Quoth I, "Guid faith,
Ye're maybe come to stap my breath;
But tent me, billie;
I red ye weel, tak care o' skaith
See, there's a gully!"

"Gudeman," quo' he, "put up your whittle,
I'm no designed to try its mettle;
But if I did, I wad be kittle
To be mislear'd;
I wad na mind it, no that spittle
Out-owre my beard."

"Weel, weel!" says I, "a bargain be't;
Come, gie's your hand, an' sae we're gree't;
We'll ease our shanks an tak a seat-
Come, gie's your news;
This while ye hae been mony a gate,
At mony a house."^2

"Ay, ay!" quo' he, an' shook his head,
"It's e'en a lang, lang time indeed
Sin' I began to nick the thread,
An' choke the breath:
Folk maun do something for their bread,
An' sae maun Death.

"Sax thousand years are near-hand fled
Sin' I was to the butching bred,
An' mony a scheme in vain's been laid,
To stap or scar me;
Till ane Hornbook's^3 ta'en up the trade,
And faith! he'll waur me.

"Ye ken Hornbook i' the clachan,
Deil mak his king's-hood in spleuchan!
He's grown sae weel acquaint wi' Buchan^4
And ither chaps,
The weans haud out their fingers laughin,
An' pouk my hips.

"See, here's a scythe, an' there's dart,
They hae pierc'd mony a gallant heart;
But Doctor Hornbook, wi' his art
An' cursed skill,
Has made them baith no worth a f-t,
Damn'd haet they'll kill!

"'Twas but yestreen, nae farther gane,
I threw a noble throw at ane;
Wi' less, I'm sure, I've hundreds slain;
But deil-ma-care,
It just play'd dirl on the bane,
But did nae mair.

"Hornbook was by, wi' ready art,
An' had sae fortify'd the part,

That when I looked to my dart,
It was sae blunt,
Fient haet o't wad hae pierc'd the heart
Of a kail-runt.

"I drew my scythe in sic a fury,
I near-hand cowpit wi' my hurry,
But yet the bauld Apothecary
Withstood the shock;
I might as weel hae tried a quarry
O' hard whin rock.

"Ev'n them he canna get attended,
Altho' their face he ne'er had kend it,
Just-in a kail-blade, an' sent it,
As soon's he smells 't,
Baith their disease, and what will mend it,
At once he tells 't.

"And then, a' doctor's saws an' whittles,
Of a' dimensions, shapes, an' mettles,
A' kind o' boxes, mugs, an' bottles,
He's sure to hae;
Their Latin names as fast he rattles
as A B C.

"Calces o' fossils, earths, and trees;
True sal-marinum o' the seas;
The farina of beans an' pease,
He has't in plenty;
Aqua-fontis, what you please,
He can content ye.

"Forbye some new, uncommon weapons,
Urinus spiritus of capons;
Or mite-horn shavings, filings, scrapings,
Distill'd per se;
Sal-alkali o' midge-tail clippings,
And mony mae."

"Waes me for Johnie Ged's^5 Hole now,"
Quoth I, "if that thae news be true!
His braw calf-ward whare gowans grew,
Sae white and bonie,
Nae doubt they'll rive it wi' the plew;
They'll ruin Johnie!"

The creature grain'd an eldritch laugh,
And says "Ye needna yoke the pleugh,
Kirkyards will soon be till'd eneugh,
Tak ye nae fear:
They'll be trench'd wi' mony a sheugh,
In twa-three year.

"Whare I kill'd ane, a fair strae-death,
By loss o' blood or want of breath
This night I'm free to tak my aith,
That Hornbook's skill
Has clad a score i' their last claith,
By drap an' pill.

"An honest wabster to his trade,
Whase wife's twa nieves were scarce weel-bred
Gat tippence-worth to mend her head,
When it was sair;
The wife slade cannie to her bed,
But ne'er spak mair.

"A country laird had ta'en the batts,
Or some curmurring in his guts,
His only son for Hornbook sets,
An' pays him well:
The lad, for twa guid gimmer-pets,
Was laird himsel'.

"A bonie lass-ye kend her name-
Some ill-brewn drink had hov'd her wame;
She trusts hersel', to hide the shame,
In Hornbook's care;
Horn sent her aff to her lang hame,
To hide it there.

"That's just a swatch o' Hornbook's way;
Thus goes he on from day to day,
Thus does he poison, kill, an' slay,
An's weel paid for't;
Yet stops me o' my lawfu' prey,
Wi' his damn'd dirt:

"But, hark! I'll tell you of a plot,
Tho' dinna ye be speakin o't;
I'll nail the self-conceited sot,
As dead's a herrin;
Neist time we meet, I'll wad a groat,
He gets his fairin!"

But just as he began to tell,
The auld kirk-hammer strak the bell
Some wee short hour ayont the twal',
Which rais'd us baith:
I took the way that pleas'd mysel',
And sae did Death.
Merda taurorum animas conturbit. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby LANDROVER ROGER » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:21 am

Superb Emdee.I will keep the avatar on for a while.(just experimentation).Thank you. :)
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby Govangirl » Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:12 pm

I didn't really know that poem well Emdee but I love it! The satire is great and I found myself quite liking Death (a second time recently after reading The Book Thief) who came over as a wee Glesga crony! And he was right about Hornbrook so I even felt a bit sorry for him! It also reminded me of Tam O'Shanter - what was written first, do you know? I couldn't help imagining him getting home after meeting Death and explaining it to his wee wifey and then the inevitable: "She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum/ A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum." :lol: And next time I need a good insult I'll use 'Deil mak his king's-hood in a spleuchan!' :lol: I'm sure it won't be long before I need to use it on Ionns!!!!!


The lines where Burns explains he 'was na fu' but just had plenty' made me chuckle as that's what I'm always telling Mr Govangirl to heed when he's had too much of the Uisge Beatha! :lol:
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
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Re: Poetry Discussion

Postby Ags » Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:34 pm

Govangirl wrote:The lines where Burns explains he 'was na fu' but just had plenty' made me chuckle


That phrase has been used in our family for as long as I can remember! It's a good one :lol:
One of my earliest childhood memories is begging my mum to tell me the story of Tam O Shanter over and over when I was wee!! She used to frighten the living daylights out of me then by reciting the poem but I loved when she would just tell me (in her words) about the witches and how poor Meg lost her tail! Memories :D
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