Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Today is Dylan Thomas' birthday and I love Dylan Thomas: "Poem in October" by Dylan Thomas

It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
    And the mussel pooled and the heron
            Priested shore
        The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
        Myself to set foot
            That second
In the still sleeping town and set forth.

    My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
    Above the farms and the white horses
            And I rose
        In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
        Over the border
            And the gates
Of the town closed as the town awoke.

    A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
    Blackbirds and the sun of October
        On the hill's shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
        To the rain wringing
            Wind blow cold
In the wood faraway under me.

    Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
    With its horns through mist and the castle
            Brown as owls
        But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
        There could I marvel
            My birthday
Away but the weather turned around.

    It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
    Streamed again a wonder of summer
            With apples
        Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
        Through the parables
            Of sun light
And the legends of the green chapels

    And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
    These were the woods the river and sea
            Where a boy
        In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
        And the mystery
            Sang alive
Still in the water and singingbirds.

    And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
    Joy of the long dead child sang burning
            In the sun.
        It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
        O may my heart's truth
            Still be sung
On this high hill in a year's turning.

by Dylan Thomas

For all things Dylan (the original not Bob):

Tuesday Poem: "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks

                   THE POOL PLAYERS.
                   SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

 by Gwendolyn Brooks

For more about poet, Gwendolyn Brooks, see:

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Tuesday Poem" Memory (2)" by Raymond Carver

She lays her hand on his shoulder
at the checkout stand. But he won't
go with her, and shakes his head.

She insists! He pays. She walks out
with him to his big car, takes one look,
laughs at it. Touches his cheek.

Leaves him with his groceries
in the parking lot. Feeling foolish.
Feeling diminished. Still paying.

by Raymond Carver

For more about the poet, Raymond Carver, see:


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Tuesday Poem: "How to get on in Society" by Martin Parker

Top up my spray tan, Darren,
then phone up Hello and OK
and gold-plate the taps in the toilet.
The Beckhams are coming to stay!

I’ve just origamied the Andrex.
Have I time for another tattoo
in spurious Chinese, with dragons,
or maybe a blatant FU?

I’ve had my nails covered in glitter
and my eyelids and midriff as well.
My extensions are almost the shade of my hair
which is rigid with Superdrug gel.

But it’s hard for a girl to look “current”
when Manolos are something she lacks
and her nipple ring’s only nine carat
and it’s hours since she last had a wax.

by Martin Parker

For more on the poet, Martin Parker, see:


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Tuesday Poem: "How to get on in Society" by John Betjeman

Phone for the fish knives, Norman
As cook is a little unnerved;
You kiddies have crumpled the serviettes
And I must have things daintily served.

Are the requisites all in the toilet?
The frills round the cutlets can wait
Till the girl has replenished the cruets
And switched on the logs in the grate.

It's ever so close in the lounge dear,
But the vestibule's comfy for tea
And Howard is riding on horseback
So do come and take some with me

Now here is a fork for your pastries
And do use the couch for your feet;
I know that I wanted to ask you-
Is trifle sufficient for sweet?

Milk and then just as it comes dear?
I'm afraid the preserve's full of stones;
Beg pardon, I'm soiling the doileys
With afternoon tea-cakes and scones.

by John Betjeman

This poem was written and published in 1958 and next Tuesday I will post an updated version of this poem written by Martin Parker in 2011.  

For more about the poet, John Betjeman, see: