Monthly Archives: November 2016

Ronovan writes#125 Gold and sing

Golden heads of corn

await the singing sickles

harvest harmony

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A Short Analysis of A. E. Housman’s ‘When the bells justle in the tower’

Enigmatic, shows how much can be read into four short lines if correctly crafted. My thanks again to the composer of this wonderful blog for picking for us these literary gems

Interesting Literature

A reading of a haunting short poem

‘When the bells justle in the tower’ is a short poem comprising a single quatrain, written by the poet A. E. Housman (1859-1936) although not published until after his death, when it appeared in Additional Poems in 1939. W. H. Auden admired the poem. It was described by Housman editor and critic Christopher Ricks as the best thing Housman ever wrote.

When the bells justle in the tower
The hollow night amid,
Then on my tongue the taste is sour
Of all I ever did.

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Talking Tales #11 – 10th December – Bristol


The end of 2016 needs laughter and genius in equal measure – it’s been quite a year. Luckily, Talking Tales #11 is going to defy the dodgy exit polls and deliver on its promises.

What we promise is all of this:

  • Stories of humour, comedy, the surreal and absurd, but most of all…THE FUNNY!
  • The launch of the To Hull and Back Short Story Anthology 2016 brought to you by the amazing Mr Christopher Fielden
  • Fabulous readings by some fabulous authors
  • The best cover in history
  • Gratuitous use of the word ‘awesome’ – don’t say I didn’t warn you
  • And you? A few places remain for submissions on a humorous theme.

Submissions for Talking Tales#11 close on 2nd December.                            

E-mail your story (to be read in less than 10 minutes) to:

Event details – are stupendously straight-forward:

…venue:     Left Bank, 128 Cheltenham Road, Stokes Croft, Bristol BS6 5RW

…time:       doors at 6.30pm on

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Ronovan writes #Weekly #Haiku #124 Dream and Dare

Only when I dream,

I dare to seek the answer

with no sense of doubt


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8 Short Poems by Emily Brontë Everyone Should Read

It’s a pleasure to sit and re-discover such literary gems as these little known facets of a famous name

Interesting Literature

The best Emily Brontë poems

Although she is best-known for her one novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), Emily Brontë started out as a poet and left behind some widely anthologised pieces of verse. Below are eight of the shortest and sweetest of the poems she wrote before her untimely death, from tuberculosis, at just 30 years of age.  The two great poems we haven’t included are ‘No Coward Soul Is Mine’ and ‘Remembrance’, because they’re slightly longer; but you can read ‘Remembrance’ here and ‘No Coward Soul Is Mine’ here.

1. ‘All hushed and still within the house’. This is a short piece, almost a fragment. The powerful two-word phrase ‘Never again’ and its near-synonyms (consider Edgar Allan Poe’s use of ‘Nevermore’ in ‘The Raven’) is put to effective use in this seven-line verse:

All hushed and still within the house;
Without – all wind and driving rain;
But something whispers to…

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10 of the Best Poems about England

Reminders of what makes our beautiful country great if only fleetingly. The words will live on longer than the subject, except in memory.

Interesting Literature

The best poems about the English countryside

The English countryside is a perennial theme in English poetry, so choosing ten of the greatest poems about England’s green and pleasant land is not an easy task. But one must start somewhere, so here is our suggestion for ten of the best poems about the English countryside, from Shakespeare to Philip Larkin. What would make your list? We’ve tried to avoid making this list a simple rundown of pastoral favourites, and to think more widely about what we mean by ‘England’ and ‘the English landscape’. We hope you find something of interest among our list.

William Shakespeare, John of Gaunt’s speech from Richard II. Okay, so this is a pretty obvious choice, but we didn’t feel we could leave out such an iconic speech about England – even if Gaunt’s eloquent rant isn’t so much a ‘poem’ as a speech from…

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A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘Myxomatosis’

How to put yourself in the mind of a rabbit

Interesting Literature

A summary of a short Larkin poem

‘Myxomatosis’ was written by Philip Larkin in 1954. Myxomatosis, a disease which affects rabbits and is lethal to them, was introduced into Britain in the 1950s in an effort to control the rapidly growing rabbit population. Larkin’s poem is a response to this measure. You can read the poem here; what follows is our analysis of Larkin’s poem.

According to James Booth in his biography, Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love, ‘Myxomatosis’ was prompted by what Larkin described as a ‘foul article’ written by Ronald Duncan and published in Punch magazine that year. In the article, Duncan cheered the arrival of the destructive rabbit disease myxomatosis in his village; Larkin, who often wrote touchingly about the plight of small animals (compare his late poem ‘The Mower’), responded with this short poem, whose title plainly states its subject-matter.

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Becky’s Haiku: Power, Fame, or Grace?

A weekly haiku challenge to keep you in your tones, why not have a go, not easy but interesting

Becky G? Oh, That's Me!


We desire power and

Fame; so in life we race but

We just need God’s grace.

I have just attempted yet another haiku challenge from Ronovan Writes blog using the words “power” and “race”. I am continuing to enjoy these challenges.  If you like word challenges and haiku’s then I invite you to also accept Ronovan’s latest challenge at this link:

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A Short Analysis of Philip Larkin’s ‘MCMXIV’

I pass this on in order that the wonder of this poets craft may be savoured and appreciated, so timely too.

Interesting Literature

A summary of one of Larkin’s greatest poems

‘MCMXIV’ is one of Philip Larkin’s best-loved poems. Completed in May 1960, the poem was published in Larkin’s 1964 volume The Whitsun Weddings. You can read ‘MCMXIV’ here; what follows is our analysis of the poem.

‘MCMXIV’ is the year 1914 in Roman numerals. As Christopher Ricks has observed, Larkin’s decision to title his poem ‘MCMXIV’ rather than ‘1914’ or ‘Nineteen Fourteen’ means we cannot be sure how to pronounce the poem’s title aloud: calling it ‘1914’ is accurate, of course, but fails to transmit the Latin stylising of the date. Conversely, reciting the individual letters (or numerals) that make up the title makes little sense.

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Power & race, Ronovan writes#122

The quest for power

in this presidential race

invites corruption

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