I’ve always loved poetry for as long as I can remember. My father used to encourage me to memorise certain poems and over the years I have been delighted to recite them or even act them out !!! Listed below are a few of my favourites. My all time fav being The Charge of the Light Brigade. It’s sad, but it depicts the bravery of men in battle. (I am a true Armed Forces Person – I believe in our country and I understand the scars of battle)
I used to hate it when people described the journey of a cancer patient as a battle, but I suppose it’s each to their own. In the Charge of the Light Brigade it’s deep, the outcome is already known
But the story is compelling. You feel the fear of the men, as the Cancer patient feels the fear of the diagnosis.
Here’s the first verse
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE BY Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
It’s biblical, “Into the Valley of Death” – when you stare death in the face what do you see? I know that 3 times I had the Oncologist explaining to me – what I had, the last time was 4 years ago.
I was with Simon and we were sitting in her room in Southport Hospital. She spoke quickly, it was 4.30pm (she probably wanted to get home to her family – I don’t blame her – what a job she has !!!)
I was introduced to my Palliative care nurse – asked if I wanted to be in touch with Macmillan Nurses, she spoke at me, determined to blame me for the cause of this cancer.
I went for bloods, my pal forever Liz happened to be in clinic next door and came into the bloods room and hugged me like I was a bear and said “You’ll get through this” and here I am. Through it – I still have a scan every year but I’m here, kind of functioning and with a good life.
I’ve blocked all this out. I feel tears pricking now in my eyes. I hate to feel sorry for myself but ha, I think I should address this and properly move on. Breathe innnnnnnn ommmmmmmmmm ahhh that’s better… All is well again.
So every Friday I would get a call – Did the 600 (Poem above) get a call? Asking them if they were ok? The Nurse really wanted me to go to Queenscourt hospice to get familiar with the place !!!!!! So I did and I quite liked the idea of doing silk painting – you know scarves etc. It was like a surreal situation. It wasn’t me. Did the 600 as they rode into death feel it was them? Can we make our own situation seem distant if we put our minds to it?
In Queenscourt hospice, I got a few funny looks, because I was bright orange, I had been doing the carrot juice cancer cure and was, let’s say “tanned” but the energy from going alkaline, juicing and eating raw vegan was amazing, I really didn’t understand and no one else could either, how I could have so much cancer in my liver and feel so well.
I had a really good memory for Poems.
Here’s a top favourite
Cargoes by John Masefield
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,
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,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.
Flannan Isle by Wilfrid W. Gibson I loved the errie feeling of this one ???? Where are the people, it’s a mystery the table set but no one there eeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkk – I think I love a good thought provoke.
Though three men dwelt on Flannan Isle to keep the lamp alight… (see it even starts spooky) – anyway moving on to an even spookier one…
The Listeners – I absolutely love this one, especially if I have an audience, You make a bit of spooky eye contact and bang on doors – such great fun.
BY WALTER DE LA MARE
‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.
I remember Ann Blance teaching me a few lines of The Jervis Bay, minutes before we went into our English Literature O level and there it was on the page. I can still remember some of the lines.
The Jervis Bay was a liner in the proper days of peace
When Ocean Roads were wide and free and needed no police !!! taaaa daaaaaaa
I had a fabulous English teacher at school. Mrs May, she was scary but oh so good at getting the understanding of her subject across.
I think if all my teachers had taught in poem form I would have learn’t so much more.
POEMS WRITTEN BY MY PALS…. with huge thanks – I think they are fab
Hi Gilly Willy, I threatened to write a poem for your blog so here goes, hope you like it and have a good day 👍🏻😄
This one by my lovely little Clare Brereton (AKA Milly)
Me and our Gill
We go back quite a way
Both Naval PT Instructors
Back in the day
Same course of young hopefuls
So strong and so fit
If we tried a vault now
We’d fall arse over ***!
What we did shaped us
The bond became strong
New experiences, new confidence
The days challenging and long
Gill ran long distance
Me short and fast
Now it’s just Power walks
Who cares who comes last!!
We love to remember
Recall all the highs
We note what has changed now
Like the shape of our thighs!
There’s something it gave us
So precious, so rare
Which helped bring us through stuff
When life was unfair
A few lines of verse
Can barely cover our past
Life has moved on so
It travels real fast
Take a moment to reflect
And remember the good times
Life’s there for the living
As long as it rhymes!
I’ve enjoyed writing this poem
I hope it helps with your blog
Now publish No 91
And go train your dog!!
Golden Trophy award for you Clare – that’s a proper poem !! Well done you it’s fab
Here’s one from Vince Hall (a Royal Navy PTI friend)
There was a young fellow from Crewe,
who decided to build a canoe,
when out on the river, he found with a shiver, he hadn’t used waterproof glue!
Fab that Vince… good to have a giggle – trophy for you too
Here’s one from my pal – Keith (Bobbles Bom Bom)
There once was a babe called Gill Fell,
Where she was, no one could tell,
Was she out scuba diving,
Planting trees, or ‘fell’ climbing,
Or chasing the devil from hell. Xx
Aww cheers for the “babe” reference Keith !!! Brilliant that – big trophy for you Keith.
Thank you my 3 lovely contributors
I’m not sure on the rules of poetry, whether you have to rhyme or not. But I’m going to leave you with this one.
Be Bare by Gill Fell
It’s time to stare,
Quite Simply be bare,
The feeling so rare,
No need to be out there,
Amongst those who glare,
life is good, life is unfair,
I am alive, living life with care.
There’s probably a name for rhyming the last words
Being Bare… I actually think it would be really refreshing to strip off and run round the garden in the pouring rain.. but we are slightly overlooked and i fear that I may be arrested.
I will do it one day (but I will not be posting photograpic evidence of the private streak)
I wrote that a while ago – it was a kind of therapy to bang out a few poems, but I don’t profess to be a Tennyson by any means.
BEHIND THEIR SMILES by Gill Fell
The Silent Mind,
I try to find,
To myself be kind.
Don’t try so hard,
it’s so unfair,
how others live without a care.
Or is that true?
Behind their smiles,
Do they feel like you?
So trust yourself,
All is not as it seems,
Don’t lose your hope,
Or your broken dreams.
So there’s a bit of poetry for now – big shout out to Clare, Vince and Keith for your fun and joining in with the little poetry challenge.
Let’s write some more – for us – it’s good for the mind and the soul but don’t try and write it half way up a pole….
OHHHH ALRIGHT, i’m outta here xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx