I have to admit that whilst I love words, language and writing I sometimes hear the word ‘poetry’ and it turns me off until I remember to actually read some classics and it sets my imagination on fire and reminds me of all the beautiful things that can be done with words and the feelings they can invoke. My grandma was a huge fan of poetry and she used to have a lovely book of best loved poems which I would pore over as a child and I once copied out some favourites but I don’t know what I did with those notes. Something recently triggered a memory of one of those poems and it made me want to try and remember…
The Unending Sky by John Masefield is really beautiful – an ode to space and infinity and the vastness of the universe which puts all human tribulations in perspective.
The Convergence of The Twain by Thomas Hardy was one I learned when I was at school – its essentially an imagining of the underwater ruins of the Titanic and how it came to such a watery fate and its really eery, yet beautiful – I love the phrase ‘steel chambers, late the fires of her salamandrine fires’.
The poem Time to Stop and Stare by William Henry Davies is quite well known and it really speaks to me on a daily basis, particularly lately, in this life where children, social media and all the demands to keep on top of everything mean that we have to make a concerted effort to put the brakes on every now and again and feel some real, visceral pleasure from just taking wonder in the world around us, after all “a poor life this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare”.
Lastly I bring to your attention The Listeners by Walter De La Mare – another poem I was taught at school but which has stayed with me all these years. A quote from the beginning of this poem is written on the side of the Premier Inn in Guildford (near where I work) and I have to admit this makes me love Premier Inn! The poem is about ghosts in an abandoned house deep in a dark forest and how a lone traveller stumbles across this place one night – its really atmospheric!