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    • #34061
      Christie Patient

        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.

      • #34286

          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


        • #34292
          Jofac O’Handlin

            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.

            • #34344
              Christie Patient

                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.

            • #34283

                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.

                • #34345
                  Christie Patient

                    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.

                  • #34376
                    Jofac O’Handlin

                      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.

                      • #34436
                        Christie Patient

                          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.

                    • #34305
                      W Young

                        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.

                        • #34346
                          Christie Patient

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

                          • #34365

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

                          • #34312
                            Desmond Sequeira

                              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

                              • #34349
                                Christie Patient

                                  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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