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On the 21st of May 1688, English poet Alexander Pope was born in London, England. At twelve, Pope composed his earliest extant work, Ode to Solitude; the same year saw the onset of the debilitating bone deformity that would plague Pope until the end of his life. Originally attributed to

Source: Disability and Creativity: Alexander Pope | A R T L▼R K


To celebrate what would have been Maya Angelou’s 90th birthday, here is the great lady herself with ‘I Rise’. She is never less than inspiring. I’ve posted this video before but it never fails to touch my soul.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Holocaust Remembrance Day

Beauty Bellezza Beauté

ilse

Letter To My Son

(Ilse Weber – 1903-1944).

My dear boy, three years ago today
You were sent into the world alone.
I still see you, at the station in Prague,
how you cry from the compartment, and hesitate.
You lean your brown head against me
and how you beg; let me stay with you!
That we let you go, seemed hard for you —
You were just eight, and small and delicate.
And as we left for home without you,
I felt, my heart would explode
and nevertheless I am happy that you’re not here.
The stranger who is taking you in
will surely go to Heaven.
I bless her with every breath I take —
Your love for her will not be enough.
It has become so murky around us here,
Everything has been taken away from us.
House, home, not even a corner of it left,
Not…

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remembrance_baby_t_shirt-re9d702f6f4b74f0a88d45426fefc8f33_j2nhu_700
Remembrance Baby T-Shirt (sold in all different sizes and styles)

by FirstNightDesign

The t-shirt contains the following verse from Laurence Binyon’s famous poem below the poppy image.

For the Fallen

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Autumn Effect at Argenteuil – Claude Monet

Autumn Song

Now’s the time when children’s noses
All become as red as roses
And the colour of their faces
Makes me think of orchard places
Where the juicy apples grow,
And tomatoes in …

Source: “Autumn Song” by Katherine Mansfield #Poetry – The Last Island


oshaughnessyWe are the music makers
We are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams; —

World-losers and world-forsakers
On whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

Source: Arthur O’Shaughnessy says:


Portrait of Mary Robinson by Thomas Gainsborough, 1781 [Wikipedia]

Portrait of Mary Robinson by Thomas Gainsborough, 1781 [Wikipedia]

“She overloads everything; but I never knew a human being with so full a mind – bad, good and indifferent, I grant you, but full and overflowing.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge [1772 – 1834] on actress and writer Mary Robinson [1757-1800], both of whom were said to be an influence the other.


FROM THE ARCHIVE 8th April 2013

The Liverpool poet Roger McGough never ceases to enthrall me. I was reminded of this marvellous poem by a friend who posted it on Facebook yesterday.  McGough makes you smile and always makes trenc…

Source: Carpe Diem: Let me die a youngman’s death by Roger McGough | First Night Design


rossetti“Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.”

Source: Christina Georgina Rossetti says: | The Müscleheaded Blog


Sir John Betjeman in 1961 [Wikimedia]

Sir John Betjeman in 1961 [Wikimedia]

To mark World Poetry Day, here is one of my favourite poems by one of my favourite writers. I dedicate this post to Jane Morley whose recent Thursday’s Doors displayed some wonderfully Gothic arches which John Betjeman would have adored. Jane revealed that her knowledge of Betjeman and his work was severely lacking so I nudged her in what I hope was the right direction.

I have a particular connection to this poem as Miss Joan Hunter Dunn’s father (yes, she was a real girl with a real family) was a Farnborough GP who just happened to deliver my mother in 1922!

Sir John first met Joan Hunter Dunn in 1940 when he was working at the Films Division of the Ministry of Information, which was based at the University of London where Miss Hunter Dunn was working in the canteen.

The poem was published in Cyril Connolly‘s Horizon magazine in February 1941. Betjeman invited her to lunch, and presented her with a copy of the magazine containing the poem, begging her forgiveness. In an interview in The Sunday Times magazine in 1965, illustrated with photographs by Lord Snowdon, she said: “It was such a marvellous break from the monotony of the war. It really was remarkable the way he imagined it all. Actually, all that about the subaltern, and the engagement is sheer fantasy, but my life was very like the poem.” Wikipedia

A Subaltern’s Love Song

Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
Furnish’d and burnish’d by Aldershot sun,
What strenuous singles we played after tea,
We in the tournament – you against me!

Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won,
The warm-handled racket is back in its press,
But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.

Her father’s euonymus shines as we walk,
And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk,
And cool the verandah that welcomes us in
To the six-o’clock news and a lime-juice and gin.

The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath,
The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path,
As I struggle with double-end evening tie,
For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.

On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts,
And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with sports,
And westering, questioning settles the sun,
On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

The Hillman is waiting, the light’s in the hall,
The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall,
My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair
And there on the landing’s the light on your hair.

By roads “not adopted”, by woodlanded ways,
She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
Into nine-o’clock Camberley, heavy with bells
And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
I can hear from the car park the dance has begun,
Oh! Surrey twilight! importunate band!
Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl’s hand!

Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
Above us the intimate roof of the car,
And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.

And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
We sat in the car park till twenty to one
And now I’m engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

John Betjeman

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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