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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2007, 21:40 
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...and Results
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A few more war poems.

Have you news of my boy Jack?, Rudyard Kipling

“Have you news of my boy Jack?”
Not this tide.
“When d’you think that he’ll come back?”
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Has any one else had word of him?”
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?”
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind—
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!


Hero, Siegfried Sassoon

'Jack fell as he'd have wished,' the Mother said,
And folded up the letter that she'd read.
'The Colonel writes so nicely.' Something broke
In the tired voice that quavered to a choke.
She half looked up. 'We mothers are so proud
Of our dead soldiers.' Then her face was bowed.

Quietly the Brother Officer went out.
He'd told the poor old dear some gallant lies
That she would nourish all her days, no doubt.
For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak eyes
Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy,
Because he'd been so brave, her glorious boy.

He thought how 'Jack', cold-footed, useless swine,
Had panicked down the trench that night the mine
Went up at Wicked Corner; how he'd tried
To get sent home, and how, at last, he died,
Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care
Except that lonely woman with white hair.


The General, Siegfried Sassoon

‘Good-morning; good-morning!’ the General said
When we met him last week on our way to the line.
Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of ’em dead,
And we’re cursing his staff for incompetent swine.
‘He’s a cheery old card,’ grunted Harry to Jack
As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.

. . . .
But he did for them both by his plan of attack.

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Oh James ur GREAT! - Jefner
it's true James. you're very normal :) - Gemmykins


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2007, 14:37 
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Order Mark!
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Did anyone see the TV programme on Sunday about Kipling and Jack? I missed it!

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2007, 14:57 
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Not being in the UK, I didn't see that programme, but I did read an extract in the Sunday Times on line from letters between Rudyard and his son right up to the time Jack was told he was shipping out to France, where he was killed.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2007, 15:13 
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If you missed it (as I did) you should be able to watch it here on the itv website.

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“I have had too much experience of life to believe in the infallibility of doctors. Some of them are clever men and some of them are not, and half the time the best of them don’t know what is the matter with you.” ~ Miss Marple


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2007, 15:23 
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I saw it: it was quite good.

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Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2007, 18:01 
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Order Mark!
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LizB wrote
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If you missed it (as I did) you should be able to watch it here on the itv website.
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Thanks Liz, I will check this out at home!

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There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who do not.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2007, 22:44 
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These are perhaps my two favourite poems, both very different. The first I love for the pictures it weaves. The second is quite sad and somewhat morbid, but I've loved it since Ifirst read it many years ago.

Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple - Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
and run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick the flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go
or only bread and pickles for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
and pay our rent and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

The Garden of Proserpine - Algernon Charles Swinburne

Here, where the world is quiet;
Here, where all trouble seems
Dead winds’ and spent waves’ riot
In doubtful dreams of dreams;
I watch the green field growing
For reaping folk and sowing,
For harvest-time and mowing,
A sleepy world of streams.

I am tired of tears and laughter,
And men that laugh and weep;
Of what may come hereafter
For men that sow to reap:
I am weary of days and hours,
Blown buds of barren flowers,
Desires and dreams and powers
And everything but sleep.

Here life has death for neighbour,
And far from eye or ear
Wan waves and wet winds labour,
Weak ships and spirits steer;
They drive adrift, and whither
They wot not who make thither;
But no such winds blow hither,
And no such things grow here.

No growth of moor or coppice,
No heather-flower or vine,
But bloomless buds of poppies,
Green grapes of Proserpine,
Pale beds of blowing rushes
Where no leaf blooms or blushes
Save this whereout she crushes
For dead men deadly wine.

Pale, without name or number,
In fruitless fields of corn,
They bow themselves and slumber
All night till light is born;
And like a soul belated,
In hell and heaven unmated,
By cloud and mist abated
Comes out of darkness morn.

Though one were strong as seven,
He too with death shall dwell,
Nor wake with wings in heaven,
Nor weep for pains in hell;
Though one were fair as roses,
His beauty clouds and closes;
And well though love reposes,
In the end it is not well.

Pale, beyond porch and portal,
Crowned with calm leaves, she stands
Who gathers all things mortal
With cold immortal hands;
Her languid lips are sweeter
Than love’s who fears to greet her
To men that mix and meet her
From many times and lands.

She waits for each and other,
She waits for all men born;
Forgets the earth her mother,
The life of fruits and corn;
And spring and seed and swallow
Take wing for her and follow
Where summer song rings hollow
And flowers are put to scorn.

There go the loves that wither,
The old loves with wearier wings;
And all dead years draw thither,
And all disastrous things;
Dead dreams of days forsaken,
Blind buds that snows have shaken,
Wild leaves that winds have taken,
Red strays of ruined springs.

We are not sure of sorrow,
And joy was never sure;
To-day will die to-morrow;
Time stoops to no man’s lure;
And love, grown faint and fretful,
With lips but half regretful
Sighs, and with eyes forgetful
Weeps that no loves endure.

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.

Then star nor sun shall waken,
Nor any change of light:
Nor sound of waters shaken,
Nor any sound or sight:
Nor wintry leaves nor vernal,
Nor days nor things diurnal;
Only the sleep eternal
In an eternal night.

_________________
Linda
Carpe Diem


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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2007, 00:08 
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Getting all your textbooks for lessons
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I have never read 'The Garden of Proserpine' before, and I really loved it, thank you Linda :D !

Also, I only discovered Sassoon's 'Aftermath' in the last couple of months and it really hit a nerve for me.
Lisa


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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2007, 13:20 
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Arguing from cause to effect
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thanks for that Linda, I'd never come across it either

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Matilda told such dreadful lies, it made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes...


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PostPosted: 16 Nov 2007, 18:20 
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I was introduced to this poem in an English lesson at school.
I am now employed as a care assistant in a nursing home for the elderly and everytime I find myself getting frustrated with one of the residents I remember this poem and it helps me to see things in a different light.

Sometimes it is easy to forget that the confused "child-like" old lady in front of you once had a full and productive life. I feel this poem should be posted on the staff noticeboard in every nursing home and geriatric ward.

This poem was found among the possessions of an elderly lady who died in the geriatric ward of a hospital. No information is available concerning her -- who she was or when she died.

See Me

What do you see, nurses, what do you see?
Are you thinking, when you look at me --
A crabby old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with far-away eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply,
When you say in a loud voice -- "I do wish you'd try."

Who seems not to notice the things that you do,
And forever is losing a stocking or shoe,
Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.

Is that what you're thinking, is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse, you're looking at ME...
I'll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still;
As I rise at your bidding, as I eat at your will.

I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who love one another,
A young girl of sixteen with wings on her feet.
Dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet;
A bride soon at twenty -- my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep;
At twenty-five now I have young of my own,
Who need me to build a secure, happy home;
A woman of thirty, my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last;
At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn;
At fifty once more babies play 'round my knee,
Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all rearing young of their own,
And I think of the years and the love that I've known;
I'm an old woman now and nature is cruel --
'Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body is crumbled, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where once I had a heart,
But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living life over again,
I think of the years, all too few -- gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last --
So I open your eyes, nurses, open and see,
Not a crabby old woman, look closer, nurses -- see ME!


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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2007, 08:47 
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This poem is so moving

I should definitely be posted on the hospital ward I was in over night recently - the night staff there should read and inwardly digest


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2007, 00:04 
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Getting all your textbooks for lessons
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I used to work with children with special needs and we had a poem on the wall, similar in sentiment to your one, Fi, about how blessed were those who had been chosen to look after a child who was special. I wish I could remember it.

However your poem was wonderful. My mum works with the elderly, and the one thing I can say about her is that she never seems to forget who they are as people despite the dementia and things.

She once got a taxi into work at lunchtime as there were no one to give her a lift, after working a nightshift, because she just knew that one of her old boy's time had come. The home he was in said his time wouldn't be for weeks, yet she got in the taxi anyway, and sure enough, he passed away just as she got there.

Although she wasn't there for it, it gave her great comfort to be able to talk to his family and tell them how peaceful his last night had been.


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2007, 14:49 
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Thank you Fi, that poem is so moving and something we all need to remember

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Linda
Carpe Diem


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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2007, 14:28 
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One of my favourite poems, as promised.

Sunlight

Some things, by their affinity light's token,
Are more than shown: steel glitters from a track;
Small glinting scoops, after a wave has broken,
Dimple the water in its draining back;

Water, glass, metal, match light in their raptures,
Flashing their many answers to the one.
What captures light belongs to what it captures;
The whole side of a world facing the sun,

Re-turned to woo the original perfection,
Giving itself to what created it,
And wearing green in sign of its subjection.
It is as if the sun were infinite.

But angry flaws are swallowed by the distance;
It varies, moves, its concentrated fires
Are slowly dying - the image of persistence
Is an image, only, of our own desires:

Desires and knowledge touch without relating.
The system of which sun and we are part
Is both imperfect and deteriorating.
And yet the sun outlasts us at the heart.

Great seedbed, yellow centre of the flower,
Flower on its own, without a root or stem,
Giving all colour and all shape their power,
Still recreating in defining them,

Enable us, altering like you, to enter
Your passionate love, impartial but intense
And kindle in acceptance round your centre,
Petals of light lost in your innocence.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

_________________
Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe pecuniam et exe, celerrime.
A certain edge when she spoke of Mrs Maynard, certainly, but, after all, not everyone could love Joey.
'Life,' said Marvin, 'don't talk to me about life!'


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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2007, 21:14 
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Taking your duties seriously
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Saffronya wrote:
I used to work with children with special needs and we had a poem on the wall, similar in sentiment to your one, Fi, about how blessed were those who had been chosen to look after a child who was special. I wish I could remember it.

Saffronya, was this it? I've no idea who wrote it.

Heaven's Very Special Child

A meeting was held quite far from earth.
"It's time again for another birth,"
Said the angels to the Lord above,
"This special child will need much love.

"His progress may seem very slow,
Accomplishments he may not show,
And he'll require extra care
Form the fold he meets down there.

"He may not run or laugh or play,
His thoughts might seem quite far away,
In many ways he won't adapt
And he'll soon be known as handicapped.

"So let's be careful where he's sent,
We want his life to be content.
Please, Lord, find the parents who
Will do a special job for You.

"They will not realise right away
The leading role they're asked to play,
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith and richer love.

"And soon they'll know the privilege given
In catering for this gift from Heaven;
Their precious charge, so meek and mild,
Is Heaven's very special child."

There's also this one written by a mother.

To Simon, my handicapped son

(Someone once told me that Simon was my masterpiece)

"You are my masterpiece,"
Whispered one lone voice
And, knowing that the word was murmured not
In idleness, merely to comfort,
I pondered its meaning,
Reflected on its truth.

"You are my failure,"
The world had said
And, from those early, non-forgotten years
When my grief was new,
That bitter guiltiness of failure
Haunts me still.

"You are my burden,"
They had said,
Some with voice of scorn,
Some with uneasy pity,
And others with dismay.
But each spoke a message devoid of hope -
That this burden must be cast aside,
Hidden in some nameless place,
Lest you should fill my life
With wasted years.

But you have filled my life
With growing years.

You came to my unwilling
And uncomprehending care
In a closed, eternal night
That had no days.
But, in the tomb of all those dayless years,
There stirred new wakenings,
Rousings from small complacencies
And little, shallow dreams,
To finding of new values
Rich and deep.

Slowly there grew profound new wisdoms.
Quiet strengths there came,
And such openings of love
That love became the reason and the growth.
Love became the wisdom and the strength.
And love mow becomes the vision
That can see, indeed,
"The masterpiece."

So! when my masterpiece
Shall grace the hall of Heaven,
O, may he then plead for me.

Patricia Davis.

_________________
"The dark is bright with quiet lives." (Malcolm Guite)


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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2008, 15:54 
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Hi MaryR,
Yip, it was the first one! Thanks for showing me it again. It brings back a lot of memories :)
Lis


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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2008, 22:27 
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I discovered the following, quite by accident, and on reading it aloud found myself almost singing.

Tarantella - Hilaire Belloc

Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the bedding
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark veranda)?
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
Who hadn't got a penny,
And who weren't paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the din?
And the hip! hop! hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the swirl and the twirl
Of the girl gone chancing,
Glancing,
Dancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of the clapper to the spin
Out and in--
And the ting, tong, tang of the guitar!
Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?

Never more;
Miranda,
Never more.
Only the high peaks hoar;
And Aragon a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the halls where falls
The tread
Of the feet of the dead to the ground,
No sound:
But the boom
Of the far waterfall like doom.


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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2008, 22:58 
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Taking your duties seriously
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Oh, gosh Billie, that takes me back. Our choral society performed that at a Speech Day way back in the early sixties.

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"The dark is bright with quiet lives." (Malcolm Guite)


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2008, 00:49 
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Stumped by Lower Four's quiz
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I first came across that on an older incarnation of this thread, about 4 years ago! Still love it.

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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2008, 16:56 
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James - have you heard the Katherine Jenkins setting of "Do Not stand at my Grave and Weep"? I don't like her voice but the setting is lovely.

It was National Poetry Day yesterday and this poem was doing the rounds in my office:

Ode for Simon Armitage

Simon, I work at Anglia Windows
and no-one there has heard of you,
you were not on the GCSE syllabus
when we were at school.
That is why I am hiding bits of your
poems around the office

like treasure hunt clues.
Now people find you in filing
cabinets,
couplets scribbled in the margins
of company reports,
symbolism on spreadsheets,
half rhymes in ring binders.

I quote lines of your best poems
when I'm replying to group e-mails.
It makes it much less tedious.
I saw the girl I sit next to
appreciating a well-crafted simile
I had set on her computer as a
screensaver
when she had gone to the toilet.

I've even been outside.
I chalked entire stanzas
out in the car park.
I hope this does not infringe
on copyright.
I hacked into the Anglia Intranet
people from the Technical
Department
now find samples of your new
collection
where Installation Procedures used
to be.
Alan Medlicott is going to be
furious.

I know people aren't going to bleed
Waterstone's dry
of the works of Simon Armitage
but there might be something for
someone to think about
when they're at home, at night,
making tomorrow's sandwiches.

John Osborne

Edited to add that I don't work for Anglia Windows!


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