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Poem for the Day

Posted: 15 November 2014

Ah the angst of unrequited, teenage love, we have all been there. At least I hope we have.

John's in love with Mary,
But Mary falls for Fred;...
He too is quite contrary
And plumps for Jane instead.

Mary, piqued, will marry
Any Tom or Dick
Or, as it happens, Harry.
John feels jolly sick.

The old tale doesn't vary
Although the names are new;
And if you're John or Mary
It breaks your heart in two.

Gloomy-Go-Round
Heinrich Heine (trans. David Cram)

Poem for the Day

Posted: 14 November 2014

A wonderful poem full of ironically sound advice.

Make being disapproved of your hobby.
Make being disapproved of your aim....
Devise new ways of scoring points
In the Being Disapproved Of Game.

Let them disapprove in their dozens.
Let them disapprove in their hordes.
You'll find that being disapproved of
Builds character, brings rewards.

Just like any form of striving
Don't be arrogant; don't coast
On your high disapproval rating.
Try to be disapproved of most.

At this point, if it's useful,
Draw a pie chart or a graph.
Show it to someone who disapproves.
When they disapprove, just laugh.

Count the emotions you provoke:
Anger, suspicion, shock.
One point for each of these
And two for each boat you rock.

Feel yourself warming to your task -
You do it bloody well.
A last you've found an area
In which you can excel.

Savour the thrill of risk without
The fear of getting caught.
Whether they sulk or scream or pout,
Enjoy your new-found sport.

Meanwhile all those who disapprove
While you are having fun
Won't even know your game exists
So tell yourself you've won.

If People Disapprove of You
Sophie Hannah

Poem for the Day

Posted: 13 November 2014

I recently discovered this beautiful poem by R S Thomas who wrote it after the death of his wife. Be careful where you read this; it will break your heart.

We met
under a shower...
of bird-notes.
Fifty years passed,
love's moment
in a world in
servitude to time.
She was young;
I kissed with my eyes
closed and opened
them on her wrinkles.
'Come,' said death,
choosing her as his
partner for
the last dance, And she,
who in life
had done everything
with a bird's grace,
opened her bill now
for the shedding
of one sigh no
heavier than a feather.

A Marriage
R S Thomas

Poem for the Day

Posted: 12 November 2014

A vegetarian friend pointed me in the direction of this wonderful and I knew I had to use it.

No sprouted wheat and soya shoots
And Brussels in a cake,...
Carrot straw and spinach raw,
(Today, I need a steak).

Not thick brown rice and rice pilau
Or mushrooms creamed on toast,
Turnips mashed and parsnips hashed,
(I'm dreaming of a roast).

Health-food folks around the world
Are thinned by anxious zeal,
They look for help in seafood kelp
(I count on breaded veal).

No smoking signs, raw mustard greens,
Zucchini by the ton,
Uncooked kale and bodies frail
Are sure to make me run

to

Loins of pork and chicken thighs
And standing rib, so prime,
Pork chops brown and fresh ground round
(I crave them all the time).

Irish stews and boiled corned beef
and hot dogs by the scores,
or any place that saves a space
For smoking carnivores.

The Health Food Diner
Maya Angelou

Poem for the Day

Posted: 10 November 2014

At the start of the First World War in 1914, Rupert Brooke was assigned to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He saw action at Antwerp which inspired the writing of five passionately patriotic sonnets, the last of them being The Soldier. He was at the height of his fame when he died during the war aged twenty-seven. He had been on his way to serve in the Dardanelles when he died of blood poisoning at Scyros and was buried there.

If I should die, think only ...this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

The Soldier
Rupert Brooke

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