Golden heads of corn
await the singing sickles
Golden heads of corn
await the singing sickles
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
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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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:
Submissions for Talking Tales#11 close on 2nd December.
E-mail your story (to be read in less than 10 minutes) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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Only when I dream,
I dare to seek the answer
with no sense of doubt
It’s a pleasure to sit and re-discover such literary gems as these little known facets of a famous name
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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Perhaps a film in the vein of, “A man for all seasons,” should be made featuring this Thomas’ life. A very interesting character to whom a debt of gratitude is owed for his introduction of so many poetic forms.
The interesting life of the Renaissance poet
Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42) was one of the most accomplished English poets of the Renaissance. Writing over half a century before Shakespeare, Wyatt helped to popularise Italian verse forms, most notably the sonnet, in Tudor England. In this post we offer a very brief introduction to Sir Thomas Wyatt’s life, paying particular attention to the most interesting aspects of his career.
Born at Allingham Castle in Kent, England in 1503, Wyatt first joined the court of King Henry VIII as ‘Sewer Extraordinary’ – this, disappointingly, had nothing to do with lavatories and was instead the title for a servant who waited at table.
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Reminders of what makes our beautiful country great if only fleetingly. The words will live on longer than the subject, except in memory.
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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How to put yourself in the mind of a rabbit
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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A weekly haiku challenge to keep you in your tones, why not have a go, not easy but interesting
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: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/category/haiku-prompt-challenge/
I pass this on in order that the wonder of this poets craft may be savoured and appreciated, so timely too.
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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by Kelly Lewis
“Books, like landscapes, leave their marks in us.” ― Robert Macfarlane
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