Thursday, 8 October 2015


Today is National Poetry Day.

As a child my father used to read me a lot of Poetry - it was his pleasure.   I still have many of his poetry books and I look at them often and recall his favourites.   He would quote lines of poetry to fit an occasion and his sayings stay with me still.

I used to attempt writing poetry myself.   I did it for several years until I got so self-critical and realised that it really was very bad poetry.   Then I stopped.
.   But because today is National Poetry Day I thought I would put one of them on as my post for the day.   You can call it Bad Poetry Day if you like - I shalln't be offended.


They spread their blue and white cloth.
on the stone slab.
Ox-eye daisies mass in the corner
in bended ranks.
Beneath the slab
bones of a thirteen century monk
whiten in their dust.

They sink a bottle of wine
into the pool.
Yellow water-irises stand tall
along its edge.
In this same place
travellers to the Abbey 
washed their blistered feet.

They stand their upturned glasses
on the stone trough.
Purple hare-bells tremble in cracks
in the ancient stone.
This the coffin
wherein, centuries ago, they lay
the Abbey Prior.

 Tiny ferns grow in the
ruined walls.
Mown lawns lie, sheltered from the wind.
All is still.
Here for years
the monks would tread their daily measured
walk towards God.

They eat their chicken and ham
and drink their wine.
They suck slices of grinning melon
and blood-red fruit.
They laugh and sing.
The ancient walls echo back
in the evening light.


A Heron's View said...

Ireland and the UK share the same date for National Poetry Day and I never realised that until last year, when I was asked to give a poetry reading to a class of students in Birr Library for an hour.
Thanks for reminding me Pat :)

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Your petry is better than I could ever write. I gave up years ago!

Heather said...

You are too judgmental of your own poetry. I have come to enjoy poetry late in life but do remember a few favourites learned in my childhood.

jinxxxygirl said...

How awful that you stopped writing Pat... It would be like me stopping drawing or painting... Did you lose your joy for writing it Pat? Was it just too painful to write and then judge?
I hope you write more and share more... Hugs! deb

Jennifer said...

All poets and writers are their own worst critics. I thought your poem was lovely!

I don't think we have a national pottery day here in the US. If we did, there are Native American tribes that could do us proud.

angryparsnip said...

Are we not all very judgmental of our work.
I have read more poetry now that I am older and have more time. Remember "Titus the dog" and her monthly poetry hops. So enjoyed reading everyone posts. That is what started me reading poetry again. I miss her blog very much.
I do write haiku and enjoy it very much.

cheers, parsnip

Rachel Phillips said...

I love poetry and reading it out loud, and writing it (I am the world's worst poet). I love funny poems and serious poems and in between poems. I like yours too and the monks and travellers in it and I am glad they were laughing and singing in the last verse. It made me smile.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I don't think there is bad poetry - unless it is rude - but all poetry has its merit - it always amazes me how poets can convey a thought/picture/emotion in such precise words, while prose writers struggle to convey the same thing in lengthy writings. Your poem brings to mind the scene that you are writing about and the emotions - therefor - good poetry.

Frances said...

Thank you very much for allowing us to read Surfaces. I was drawn into its depth in a gentle, graceful way.

Would you believe that when I was much younger two poets called me their muse?


The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for your comments.

thelma said...

I enjoyed your poem to Pat, writing words gives a deeper insight into the mind and how we see the world around us. They did 'The Ruin' yesterday, a Saxon insight on the ruined remains of Bath, it is one of my favourites....

Bovey Belle said...

That's a very evocative poem Pat. I think we are all very critical of our own work. One of the books I bought yesterday (critique of Thomas Hardy's works) I got mainly for the critiques of his poetry, so I would have more insight.

The History Anorak said...

You really shouldn't be so critical of your work!
I've enjoyed National Poetry Day. There was a wonderful programme on Radio 4 with Anton Lesser reading.

Gerry Snape said...

I always loved your poetry when I used to join the poetry bus etc!