Friday, 9 November 2012


Do you take a daily newspaper?    We actually take two, as the farmer has always taken the Yorkshire Post and I have always taken the Times, and neither of us is prepared to give it up.   I would feel absolutely bereft without my morning paper, even though the farmer has to drive into our little market town at 6.45 every morning to collect it.

Sometimes I get very annoyed by what they say.   This is particularly true of the television critics.   I have really enjoyed Michael Palin's trip to Brazil which the critics dismissed as flimsy and rather boring.   Last night Michael Portillo was on television following Bradshaw's train routes across Europe.   Again it got very poor reviews but we watched it and really enjoyed it.   I suppose the moral is to stop reading the reviews and make one's own mind up.   There is always an 'off' switch.

Of course you cannot believe everything you read - you only get one paper's version - there is always a political slant to start with.   But the quality of the writing in the Times suits me fine and I wouldn't be without it.

Sometimes I read a snippet of information which I am very grateful for and this happened yesterday, when I read a short piece about Robert Frost and Edward Thomas.   They are two of my favourite poets and two of my favourite poems are Frost's 'The Road Not Taken' and Thomas's 'Adlestrop'.    How interesting to read therefore that the two were great friends and that Thomas, a troubled man at the best of times, was undecided whether or not to fight in the First World War.   He decided to volunteer and as a result Frost wrote 'The Road Not Taken',   As we all know, Thomas was killed at Arras in 1917 at the age of thirty-nine.

He wrote 'Adlestrop' about the blackbirds singing (and indeed in an early algebra book he wrote 'I love birds more than books') and, sadly, on the last page of the diary he kept at the front he wrote
'The light of the new moon and every star
and no more singing for the bird.'
One can't help feeling he had a premonition about his death.

Frost, on the other hand, lived to the ripe old age of  eighty-eight.  He is buried in the family grave at Long Bennington in New England,    Long Bennington is a lovely, picturesque and peaceful village and the churchyard, at the back of a typical New England wooden church, is his final resting place.  I went there some years ago and was strangely moved by standing at his grave.


MorningAJ said...

My mum used to complain about what was in her newspaper and when I asked why she kept buying it she said she'd miss the crossword! I guess you have to take what they say with a pinch of salt.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the Michael Portillo series. Just goes to show that critics make their money by - well - criticising!

Tom Stephenson said...

I've always liked 'Adlestrop' too, Weave. I haven't bought a paper for years.

marilyn said...

Am so happy to hear that Frost is a favorite as he is not studied in the US anymore. Our newspaper has gone to 3 days a week publication and is trying to be completely on-line. It was a decision that many deplored but was a financial one. I am lost without the written word altho I certainly appreciate the internet. It just isn't the same.

Heather said...

It is so sad to think of the number of wonderful poets lost in the First World War, but we do have the legacy of their work.
We take two newspapers - my husband buys the Daily Telegraph and the Western Daily Press. As for critics, I never take much notice of them and can remember seeing a London show many years ago which I thoroughly enjoyed and which was slated by the critics. I am now perverse and if they don't like something I think it must be right for me.

Elizabeth said...

I'm an utter media hound and lap up the New York Times.....and believe their opinions and hate all the other papers.
Yes, a huge mistake to read TV and film or even book reviews --just dive in and make your own mind up.

Things OK here. HIGH LINE reopened and our basement laundry room has given up the ghost.....
and so we go on!

Elizabeth said...

ps Adelstrop is one of my favorite poems too.
In current parlance: VERY ZEN

Cloudia said...

thank you for the 'back story' dear.

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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angryparsnip said...

I use to get the newspaper but I live on a steep hill and is very hard for me to walk the steep part of the hill to get the paper. I dive my car down the drive way to get the mail but by then all the critters have destroyed the paper
The old delivery people used to toss the paper half the way up so I could hobble out and pick it up but they left.
So what I am saying is the farmer is a better person that me driving to the village to pick up your paper every morning.
I miss reading the local paper.
Maybe I can try to make a deal with the delivery people ?

cheers, parsnip

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for visiting - call again.