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  • Any Poetry Lovers Out There?

    Posted by Christie Patient on January 30, 2023 at 3:11 am

    Hi all, this a light post today just to see if anyone out there is also a poetry lover. Poetry has been a staple of my life, and it is always the first place I turn in times of trouble. I purchased a copy of Mary Oliver’s New and Selected Poems, Volume 1 during my time living in San Francisco while caregiving for my mom and it has been a constant companion. There’s a poem for every season, but I have found a certain comfort in times of grief that I can’t get anywhere else but from a perfect poem. 

    I’ve recently begun writing poetry again after a long hiatus, and it has been a balm for the soul, too. The practice of distilling sometimes to its simplest verbal form is very satisfying!

    If you have any favorite poems, please share them here! If you write poetry yourself, these are also welcome! We won’t offer any constructive criticism unless you specifically ask for it.

    Christie Patient replied 1 year, 5 months ago 6 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Meredith

    January 31, 2023 at 6:36 pm

    Two tasks a day keep the doctor away.

    I get overwhelmed and too tired with more. If I only stop when I feel tired I end up with achy muscles and cognitive difficulties.

    Two days of rest for each day of letting myself overdo it


  • Jofac O'Handlin

    February 1, 2023 at 7:33 am

    Hi @christie-patient
    You interest in poetry strikes a chord with me. However, I will add a couple of personal limitations. Whilst I am reasonably articulate, I cannot write reasonable verse. I have ideas but have a blockage in constructing verse or poetry.
    I do not identify with clever poetry, i.e. that writing which is gramatically, or word wise clever.
    For me it needs to tell a story, preferably in rhyme, so ballads really. It has been suggested that the likes of Kipling, and Service were only journalists in rhyme.
    As I spent some years working on the west coast of Canada I was introduced to the work of Robert Service. Maybe not a great ‘poet’ but a good story teller, and her made a good living in the telling of the gold rush to the Klondike.
    The other aspect to poetry is the recitation, the memory exercise and the vocalistion, as the saying goes, ‘with feeling’.
    Theses are great mental exercises, and a distraction from our health concerns.
    I could introduce our local bard, T.E.Brown, who in the late 1800’s publised his ‘Forecastle Yarns’. Stories by and about sea farers. I must add that this series is in local dialect!
    If your threaad continues, I will add a verse or two of his.

    • Christie Patient

      February 7, 2023 at 7:40 pm

      Joe! I would love to read some of your favorite T.E Brown verses! You are from the Isle of Man right? I know the dialect is probably different but I spent some time in Scotland this summer chatting with highlanders, islanders, and Glaswegians (take your pick which is the hardest accent for an American to understand haha), and am learning Gaidhlig, which I know is different from Manx but I reckon I could get by.

      I also am a fan of Robert Service, as a descendant of Western settlers, especially. But I admit I haven’t dug much into Kipling. There isn’t enough time in life to read all that I want to read. A shame.

  • Janet

    February 1, 2023 at 7:35 am

    I love good poetry and Mary Oliver’s poems specifically, have a huge volume of her work. I also admire the work of Rita Dove, Elizabeth Bishop, Wordsworth…don’t get me started.

    • Christie Patient

      February 7, 2023 at 7:42 pm

      Janet, if you could pick a favorite Mary Oliver poem (or two) what would it be? 🙂 I also love Wordsworth–one of my first poetry loves back in middle school I think. Kind of wordy for a tween, but I was hooked. I haven’t heard of the others but will have to check them out.

    • Jofac O'Handlin

      February 9, 2023 at 6:39 pm

      Hi @Christie-patient,
      My wife, English, had and still has difficulty with local dielect verse, so I can imagine your struggle with Scottish accents.
      Here is a piece of Brown’s work. Something we were obliged to learn ‘off by heart’ as 10 year old primary school pupils. Hope you all enjoy, get somethkng from it. Joe

      From the narrative poem ‘Betsy Lee’ by T.E. Brown.

      ‘When childher plays’.

      Now the beauty of the thing when childher plays is
      The terrible wonderful length the days is.
      Up you jumps, and out in the sun.
      And you fancy the day will never be done:
      And you’re chasin the bumbees hummin so cross
      In the hot sweet air among the goss,
      Or gath’rin blue-bells, or lookin for eggs,
      Or peltin the ducks with their yalla legs,
      Or a climbin, and nearly breakin your skulls,
      Or a shoutin for divilment after the gulls,
      Or a thinkin of nothin, but down at the tide,
      Singin out for the happy you feel inside.
      That’s the way with the kids, you know,
      And the years do come and the years do go.
      And when you look back it’s all like a puff,
      Happy and over and short enough.

      A stanza from an earlier verse in this long narrative poem is occasionally added to the end, usually when read by aan adult.
      Ah! It woudn’ be bad for some of us,
      If we’d never gone furder, never fared wuss,
      If we’d never grown up, and never got big,
      If we’d never took the brandy swig,
      If we were skippin’, scamp’rin’, and cap’rin still
      On the sand that lies below the hill,
      Crunchin’ its grey ribs with the beat
      Of our little patterin’ naked feet.

      • Christie Patient

        February 15, 2023 at 4:56 pm

        That is wonderful. Full of nostalgia. Funny how some things about childhood are universal, no matter where you grow up. Thank you for sharing. I’ve read it aloud several times trying to get the accent right.

  • W Young

    February 1, 2023 at 4:52 pm

    Terrific short piece on helpfulness of poetry, both reading and writing it.  Check this famous, but quirky and beautiful spirit, Ranier Maria Rilke. In my path, his poetry made deep impact.

    • Christie Patient

      February 7, 2023 at 7:43 pm

      Rilke! Yes! Oh, my people are here in this forum. Have you read his Letters to a Young Poet?

    • Janet

      February 8, 2023 at 12:53 pm

      I have many favorites, but perhaps my top pick would be “I Worried.”

  • Desmond Sequeira

    February 2, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    I liked poetry we had to learn at scool but when I came across T s Elliot in 1946 when I first read it, I did not understand it nor do I fully even now in my 92nd year but I go back time and again and find startling new layers but the mystery still remains and holds me in thrall. My recent poem shown below does not quite produce it. Just as well.


    I was walking alone, all alone in the dark
    care home to bus stop, half a mile
    Uphill, all uphill, when I gasping for breath
    Felt darkness descen into my mind.
    I was certain this was my end

    I wasn’t panicked, but bathed
    in a curious peace, became aware
    that I was not alone. There was
    a presence, his presence
    I turned my head right.
    Simultaneously he turned his
    to the left. We looked at each other,
    he was the same size, my size.

    After a while we smiled at each other.
    Then recognition: he was there at my first inhale
    and will stay stay with me within me
    to my last exhale, a life-long reliable.
    Nodding I looked again. He was not there.

    Freed, I wondered, if his next visit
    will be at my bedside, when family and friends
    grief stricken, mumble or perhaps
    let their tears speak for them.

    But for now, still shaky but alive
    I take slow steps and shallow breaths
    to the bus stop.

    Desmond Sequeira

    • Christie Patient

      February 7, 2023 at 7:55 pm

      Your poem is lovely Desmond. I could really see the characters in my mind, walking together, mirroring each other. I like the idea of death walking with us, and within us from birth til the end. Whether we acknowledge it or not, it’s just as much a part of us as the living. Two sides of the same coin.

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