Tag Archives: poems

Cargoes

Did you read yesterday’s blog.  Each of my sisters responded saying that among their favourites that we all learned at school, was Cargoes by John Masefield.  So may I share it with you here:

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

John Masefield was an English poet and writer (1878-1967).  He was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death he wrote stirring poetry meant to make the reader/listener proud of being British and of their heritage.

Probably Masefield’s most popular poem was Sea Fever.  You will no doubt know the opening stanza –

“I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.”

When we were at school we were lucky to have such a talented English teacher who instilled the love of poetry and literature in groups of young girls.  This, coupled with encouragement from our father, taught my sisters and me the beauty to be found in words.

So another rambling post to share with you my love of words, poetry whether stirring like those of Masefield, Brooke,Kipling, Frost et al or of the more modern poets like Jenny Joseph, Ted Hughes and of course another favourite Jayne Relaford Brown whose poem Finding her here  has been quoted several times in earlier blogs.

Oh For An Original Thought

“All intelligent thoughts have already been thought;
what is necessary is only to try to think them again”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German Playwright, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist.  1749-1832

Sitting in front of a blank screen once again, I try to conjure up an original thought.  I read blogs from others and of course, get inspiration from them but an original thought of my own…..

I have read Val Erde’s post on what she plans to do with the rest of her life and that set me thinking.  In her poem The Summer Day Mary Oliver asks

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life? “

Perhaps I could write a blog on that subject too.

Chris at Bridges Burning posted about the date November 22 and what it means to many of us.  She also introduced us to a book by Stephen King (one of my favourite authors) 22/11/63  11/22/63 (I have just had this error pointed out to me.  Thank you Sharon) and I have now reserved it from the library.  Reminded me of draft I started ages ago about where we I was on certain historic days during my long life.

Susan at Coming East wrote about what triggers memories.  I read this a couple of days ago and just this morning when opening a fresh container of milk I remember how my sister used to open the top for my father who was blind.  That took me back to the last time I saw him.  About 92, legally blind and living in his own apartment on his own.  What a great mentor and father he had been to me and my sisters throughout his life.

So..today…  Do you know Mary Oliver’s poetry?  One of my favourites is The Journey :

“One day you finally knew what you had to do,
and began, though the voices around you
kept shouting their bad advice–“

Read the rest of this poem here and the poem “The Summer Day” here.

So still without an original thought, or even an independent thought, I am bowing out of today’s post.

Waterfall

Dreamstime.com Free images

And now
As the water cascades and tumbles
over the rocks in it’s rush
down to join the river
so my thoughts tumble around my brain
looking for an outlet
or a safe place to stop

New shoes, red and pink and blue shoes

Age shouldn’t affect you. It’s just like the size of your shoes – they don’t determine how you live your life! You’re either marvellous or you’re boring, regardless of your age.  Steven Morrissey, English singer and lyricist. 1959

When I read today’s post from Susan at Coming East I immediately was transported back in time to those far distant days when getting new summer sandals was a treat.

Sandals

We had sandals rather than sneakers.  But we also had plimsolls.  These were canvas topped shoes on rubber soles and only came in white.  At our school, where the school colours were brown and yellow (really!) the plimsolls had to be dyed brown for PE.   I don’t remember how this feat was achieved, but I do know that Mother had to perform this miracle for all three of her daughters on a regular basis.

White plimsollIn addition to the brown plimsolls, we were required to have a white pair for tennis.  So six pairs of plimsolls were bought in our house on a fairly regular basis.

Plimsolls (or plimsoles) apparently were developed as beachwear in the 1830s by the Liverpool Rubber Company later to be known as Dunlop Rubber.

This then brought me to my party piece.  I have always had a penchant for performing (or showing off as my sisters used to say) and reciting poetry was my chosen form of showing off.  I also had the ability to remember long verses of poetry and many and often were our relatives bored (aka entranced and delighted) with my recitations.

So here now is my favourite, Choosing Shoes by Frida Wolfe :

Pink shoes

“New shoes, new shoes,
Red and pink and blue shoes.
Tell me, what would you choose,
If they’d let us buy?

ShoesBuckle shoes, bow shoes,
Pretty pointy-toe shoes,
Strappy, cappy low shoes;
Let’s have some to try.

Bright shoes, white shoes,
Dandy-dance-by-night shoes,
Perhaps-a-little-tight shoes,
Like some? So would I.

Processed by: Helicon Filter;

BUT Flat shoes, fat shoes,
Stump-along-like-that shoes,
Wipe-them-on-the-mat shoes,
That’s the sort they’ll buy.”

Of course, the more I performed the more I added movement and voice changes/modulation to this poem.  And I still can be called upon to recite it in the company of good friends, when we have all had a couple of drinks.

And “Give a girl the correct footwear and she can conquer the world” Bette Midler

Red Shoes

“Give a girl the correct footwear and she can conquer the world” Bette Midler