Summer Loving

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 18th of June 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

In a survey conducted in 2008, talking about the weather came top of the 50 typical traits of the British. It seems at any moment in the UK at least a third of the population is either talking about the weather, has already done so, or is about to do so.  Today’s poem, Summer Loving, takes a contemporary look at Summer and the behaviour of the British.  The following discussion reveals why weather talk is more than just inane banter.

If you have difficulty listening to the show, a text version of the poem is included after the soundbar.

To hear this recording of Poetic Beats, press the arrow to the left of the soundbar below.

 

 

Summer Loving

 

From Solstice to Equinox,

one hundred and thirty-two

days of weathered obsession,

searching for nimbostratus.

 

Burnt skin and sneezes,

accompany backdrops of

beach life, as vanilla ice cream

drips from oyster shells among

 

wafts of Factor 20. Bodies

measured over shadowed

feet in the ebb and flow

of afternoon tides.

 

When the sun comes,

we pray for rain.

When the rain comes,

we pray for sun,

 

heading for hibernation in

a three-season mourning.

 

© Davy D 2018

 

16 Comments

Brilliant Davy, loved the poem & discussion. Nana’s fave ice cream – the Oyster, even after fish & chips! I’m put in mind of Tyke natural weatherman Bill Foggitt, who I grew up with. The met office would say iso/prevailing/thermos whatever = Scarborough’s a washout this weekend, mum would say well Bill says the Housemartins are flying high so it’ll be fine…….he was always right!

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    Thank you Nigel and the Oyster was my favourite too. It was the combination of ice cream, marshmallow, chocolate and the hint of coconut that made it a king among ice creams. I like the sound of your mum and Bill’s style of weather predicting. Sometimes simple is best (and a lot more accurate in many cases). I am sure there is a poem in there about you and Bill. Have a good weekend.

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Loved it! The combination of poem and radio discussion indeed defines one of the key aspects of British culture, so I agree with everything said. The poem sounds very musical to me because some words imitate what Britain’s incredible changing weather does. There is a sparkle of sun and in the next second it is clouded again or you get a one-minute shower from Holy Heaven. Yes, I believe you can even have more than four seasons in single day or in just a few moments. In this respect, your word choice in this poem is superb as it reflects these sudden changes. There are short words like “backdrops”(ok, this is a compound but it still sounds short because its vowels are short and because you can still divide the word and get two monosyllables), “beach life”, “ice cream”, “drips”, “wafts”, “ebb and flow”… all these being monosyllabic and onomatopoeic. The contrasts give great strength to your poem as well (“burnt skin vs.”sneezes” or praying for sun or rain in the fourth stanza. The last two lines are great as they can either be taken dramatically or with some irony, something typically British that I love.

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    Marta thank you for taking time out to give this thoughtful analysis of my poem and it is most appreciated. The uncertainty of the British weather makes it a joy to write about and makes for a good bit of irony. Comments like this always make the hard work that goes into a poem worthwhile, so thank you again.

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Loved the poem. Come to Florida and it will be like that all year round. Lol We Floridians often walk around pale because we don’t take advantage of the beach since it’s available all the time. In the Spring is the best time to go down this way. In the Summertime the sand is too hot to walk on without shoes. I think It’s actually more exciting when you have to wait for summer. When I lived in Ohio and could enjoy the seasons, I remember much of what your poem describes. (Except we never had oysters).
Enjoy your time window of sunshine. We just entered hurricane season here in Florida. 😩😳 But our Palm Trees look lovely all year round. 👍

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    Thank you Lesley for the kind words and comments. We are moving towards a bit of a heatwave here in the UK this week which means the shops will be cleared of fans and air conditioning units. I don’t know if I could live in a climate where there is little change and the four seasons gives the writer plenty to think about. Although I am so glad we don’t have to endure hurricanes. Hope your weekend is going well 🙂

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Davy, your poem really makes me smile. Having lived long now in England I have slipped into the the same ways….talk about the weather first.😊 . Seems almost introductory.
When I first arrived I was amazed at the seeming obsession about weather talk until I realised England seemed to have weather rather than seasons. Grin. O.k. I am exaggerating.

I love the way you caught summer in England in one poem. Great.

Miriam

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    Thank you for your kind words Miriam and I am glad you enjoyed the poem. I will be experiencing a bit of the Scandinavian summer in a few weeks as off on a cruise around the Baltic Sea. I will be able to compare some notes with you then 🙂 Thank you for taking time out to listen and comment, it is most appreciated.

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What a wonderful poem, Davy! It is vivid and bright…just like summer! I love so many things about summer! There are so many good smells, tastes, sounds and sights in summer! 🙂

What’s that old quote? “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” HA! 🙂

I, also, enjoy this one: “Weather forecast for tonight: Dark.” George Carlin Ha! 🙂

HUGS!!! and wherever you go this summer…no matter what the weather…I know you will bring the sunshine, because your poems and Poetic Beats always brings us cheer! 🙂

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    LOL Carolyn I love the George Carlin quote. I am glad my writing can bring a little sunshine into your day and really appreciate your support with Poetic Beats (and my other stuff). We are about to hit a bit of a heatwave here in the UK and with the World Cup what could be better. Hope your weekend is going well 🙂

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Your poem reminds me more of the weather in the Deep South and on the Northern California Coast than inland California, where I live now. But I don’t think either place matches the variability of UK weather. And you captured the spirit of it so well! I love the back and forth rhythm, too. At least it seems that way to me. Anyway, every summer day is the same in this part of California: sun, sun and more sun with slightly varying degrees of heat. It’s either hot, or really hot. Weather in the UK sounds nice. 🙂

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    Thank you for your thoughtful comment Laura and I think we are lucky in the UK with our variations in our weather. I would hate to live in a place where the weather was the same all year round. We are in a heatwave (for the UK) at the moment and due to last well into next week.

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