Monday, 12 November 2012

Another Poem

I just realised that I've hardly posted at all this year, (not that I was overly prolific last year in fairness). So, rather than start adding new writing I've decided to put up another poem I discovered many moons ago. This was in the same book as the hippopotamus poem posted previously. I'm sure there was some worthwhile lesson being taught in this school book but the 'only' thing I learnt from it was how much fun words can be. The poem is titled 'The Bath' and I think the reason it resonated with me was that I had a 'maiden aunt' who fit the role perfectly.

Broad is the gate and wide the path
That leads man to his daily bath;
But ere you spend the shining hour
With sponge and spray, with sluice and show'r,
With all that teaches you to dread
The bath as little as your bed;
Remember, whosoe'er you be
To shut the door and turn the key.

I had a friend a friend no more;
Who failed to bolt the bathroom door.

A maiden aunt of his, one day,
Walked in as half submerged he lay,
But did not notice nephew John
And turned the boiling water on!

He had no time, or even scope,
To camouflage himself with scope,
But gave a yell, and flung aside
The sponge 'neath which he sought to hide;
It fell to earth I know not where.
He beat his breast in deep despair,
And then, like Venus from the foam,
Sprang into view and made for home.

His aunt fell fainting to the ground.
Alas! They never brought her round.

She died intestate in her prime,
The victim of another's crime,
And John can never quite forget
How, by a breach of etiquette,
He lost at one fell swoop (or plunge)
His aunt, his honour and his sponge.

Harry Graham

The Joy of Poetry

I found this poem in an old schoolbook when I was about 8 or 9 and I've always remembered it. It tells a story of a love found and enjoyed, and the tragic end that came all too soon. It was written by Patrick Barrington. Enjoy!!

I Had a Hippopotamus

I had a Hippopotamus, I kept him in a shed
And fed him upon vitamins and vegetable bread
I made him my companion on many cheery walks
And had his portrait done by a celebrity in chalk

His charming eccentricities were known on every side
The creatures' popularity was wonderfully wide
He frolocked with the Rector in a dozen friendly tussles
Who could not but remark on his hippopotamuscles

If he should be affected by depression or the dumps
By hippopotameasles or the hippopotamumps
I never knew a particle of peace 'till it was plain
He was hippopotamasticating properly again

I had a Hippopotamus, I loved him as a friend
But beautiful relationships are bound to have an end
Time takes alas! our joys from us and rids us of our blisses
My hippopotamus turned out to be a hippopotamisses

My house keeper regarded him with jaundice in her eye
She did not want a colony of hippotami
She borrowed a machine gun from from her soldier nephew, Percy
And showed my hippopotamus no hippopotamercy

My house now lacks that glamour that the charming creature gave
The garage where I kept him is now as silent as the grave
No longer he displays among the motor tyres and spanners
His hippopomastery of hippopotamanners

No longer now he gambols in the orchards in the spring
No longer do I lead him through the village on a string
No longer in the morning does the neighbourhood rejoice
To his hippopotamusically-meditated voice

I had a hippopotamus but nothing upon earth
Is constant in its happines or lasting in its mirth
No joy that life can give me can be strong enough to smother
My sorrow for that might-have-been-a-hippopota-mother
Patrick Barrington

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Favourite poem....

I found the Irish Times from 31/12/1999 recently. They ran a feature on Ireland's favourite poems. No. 1 was my favourite too..

By William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.