Poetic Beats

Spring Haiku

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 26th March 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

In this episode we take a trip over to Japan and examine a form of poetry that has caused much debate in the poetry world, the Haiku.  The Japanese Haiku Master Matsuo Basho spent a lifetime travelling and mastering the form we see and value today.  Davy D’s poem, Spring Haiku reflects the spirit of haiku poetry and written using the Western style of the format.

Poetic Beats is taking a break for a few weeks and will back on Friday the 27th of April 2018.

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Spring Haiku.

 

To the untrained eye

The haiku masks with its form

And simplicity.

 

Three lines from “The Now”

a key enabling nature’s

box to be opened.

 

Take Spring for instance.

A winter beast ushered back

To hibernation.

 

Dawn sunlight falling

On the Ridgeway, bringing a

Spine to daffodils.

 

Deep undercover,

the heron set in stillness,

waiting for movement,

 

distracted only

by mirrored ripples and duck’s

chaotic landings.

 

 

And in the distance

Rooked woodlands calling out to

the shadowed walker.

 

It’s mysterious

The paths we will walk and the

Poems we will write

 

And read, hoping to

uncover answers to life

and her quandaries.

 

© Davy D 2018

 

The First Spring Day

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 19th March 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

On the last day of astronomical Winter, and the eve of Spring and the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, we read and examine the poem, The First Spring Day by Christina Rossetti.

The Spring Equinox has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth in the Northern Hemisphere and there are many festivals welcoming the first day of Spring. In Iran, the equinox marks the start of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and the festival of Khooneh Takouni, (shaking the house down), where two weeks of spring cleaning gets the new year underway.

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The First Spring Day

 

I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,

If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,

If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun

And crocus fires are kindling one by one:

        Sing, robin, sing!

I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.

 

I wonder if the spring-tide of this year

Will bring another Spring both lost and dear;

If heart and spirit will find out their Spring,

Or if the world alone will bud and sing:

        Sing, hope, to me!

Sweet notes, my hope, soft notes for memory.

 

The sap will surely quicken soon or late,

The tardiest bird will twitter to a mate;

So Spring must dawn again with warmth and bloom,

Or in this world, or in the world to come:

        Sing, voice of Spring!

Till I too blossom and rejoice and sing.

 

Christina Rossetti

Poetry and Protest

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 12th of March 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

Protest has always provided a form of non-violent protest for poets and Davy D’s poem, Because, offers words to highlight the urbanisation and destruction of the countryside taking place in the UK. Throughout history poets such as John Clare, William Blake and Christina Rossetti have all written poetry as a form of protest. These and the Russian poet, Irina Ratushinskaya, who in 1983 was sentenced to five years hard labour for writing poetry deemed to create anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda, are discussed in this episode of Poetic Beats.

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Because

 

near a concrete verge, a snowdrop

bows to the North Wind. An act of

defiance against minds immersed in

roadway oblivion. inside the aperture,

carbon white sits against a cold day

sprinkled on winter soil. the camera

 

sure in its capture of a new order.

above the din, can anyone hear the

robin sing, or the mindless torture

of scraped earth? the run of a nib

must carry more than the cold

blood from a profiteer’s core.

 

© Davy D 2018

March

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 5th of March 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

On today’s episode we celebrate the arrival of the meteorological start of Spring in the UK with the poem March, by Celia Thaxter.  After a week of living with the “Beast From The East” Winter is still with us. According to the astronomical calendar Winter doesn’t start in the Northern Hemisphere until the Vernal Equinox on the 20.03.18, so we have a few cold weeks to go yet.

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March

I wonder what spendthrift chose to spill

Such bright gold under my window-sill!

Is it fairy gold?    Does it glitter still?

Bless me! it is a daffodil!

 

And look at the crocuses keeping tryst

With the daffodil by the sunshine kissed.

Like beautiful bubbles of amethyst

They seem, blown out of the earth’s snow-mist.

 

And snowdrops’ delicate fairy bells

With a pale green tint like the ocean swells;

And the hyacinths wearing their perfumed spells!

The ground is a rainbow of asphodels!

 

Who said that March was a scold and a shrew?

Who said she had nothing on earth to do

But tempests and furies and tempests to brew?

Why, look at the wealth she has lavished on you!

 

O March that blusters and March that blows,

What colour under your footsteps glows!

Beauty you summon from winter snows,

And you are the pathway that leads to the rose.

 

CELIA THAXTER.

Book or Kindle?

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 26th of February 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

In this episode we discuss the battle of love that may define the 21st Century, Book v Kindle. Davy D reads his poem Breaking Free, written in a Prose Poetry style, which offers an opinion on both sides of the conversation. Prose Poetry came to prominence in France in the 19th Century with the works of essayist and poet Charles Baudelaire. There are many arguments about the form and whether Prose Poetry is poetry at all.  As poetry editor Peter Johnson says, “the Prose Poem plants one foot in prose, the other in poetry. Both heels resting precariously on banana peels.”

If you have difficulty listening to the programme a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.

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Breaking Free

First Reading

The words, 12-point Baskerville, were trapped beneath glass, cold to touch. Despite being neat and ordered, with supporting white space, they read like a never-ending text. Dragged from room to room it was difficult to get any life into, or from them. Even at night the back-light failed to ignite their meaning, and despite regular warnings, they faded right there in front of my eyes. I had neither the energy or inclination to attempt resuscitation and a whole library evaporated into a cloud, devoid of any attempts at the Dewey Decimal Classification.   

 

Second Reading

It caught my eye from the boot of a Mini Cooper, sat trapped between Jamie Oliver and Jacqueline Wilson. In an act of rescue, the rough feel of a red tattered cover courted dreams of things to come. First Edition, 1899; each page scented with yellow tinges of history. “To darling Ivy, In remembrance of many holy associations and much kindness – The Reverend Bagshaw.”  Penciled from hands once lived now forgotten. Between pages 88 and 89 a pressed Violet. It fell to the muddy field. I knew I was in love.

© Davy D 2018

 

Wordsworth’s Sonnet

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D recorded on the 19th of February 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

In this episode, Wordsworth’s Sonnet, or to give it its full title – Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 1802 – is read and discussed.  The poem was written by Wordsworth on his way to visit his wife and daughter, in Calais France. The title of the poem is another mystery of poetry, as when it was first published it was given the title -Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 1803. As with Shakespeare’s Sonnets there has been much debate as to when the poem was written.

If you have difficulty listening to the programme a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.

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Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

 

Earth has not anything to show more fair:

Dull would he be of soul who could pass by

A sight so touching in its majesty:

This City now doth, like a garment, wear

The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,

Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie

Open unto the fields, and to the sky;

All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

Never did sun more beautifully steep

In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;

Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

The river glideth at his own sweet will:

Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;

And all that mighty heart is lying still!

 

William Wordsworth

The Mersey Sound

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s episode of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 12th of February 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

Continuing February’s theme of Love, Davy D reads his poem Love Is, a poem for Valentine’s Day inspired by Adrian Henri’s poem of the same name. Adrian Henri’s Love Is first appeared in the poetry anthology, The Mersey Sound, published in 1967. The Mersey Sound revolutionised poetry, taking it off the shelf and onto the street and has sold over 500,000 copies. Along with Henri, the anthology contains poems from Roger McGough and Brian Patten and went on to inspire a new generation of poets as well as many musicians.

If you have difficulty listening to the programme please visit this link, Love Is, where the poem featured earlier this week on Inside the Mind of Davy D.

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Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 5th of February 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

The theme for February is love and what better way to start than with the poem regarded as one of the greatest love poems of all time, William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18. Four hundred years later Shakespeare’s sonnets are still surrounded by mystery and intrigue and maybe Shakespeare presented them to the world as puzzles which were never meant to be solved.

Apologies, in advance, but due to gremlins in the studio equipment the sound quality of the recording is lower than usual. Hopefully this will be rectified by next week.

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Sonnet 18.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

 

William Shakespeare.

 

 

Night Pigs

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 29th of January 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

Changes in climate and a rapid urbanisation programme across the South of England are reducing the numbers of hedgehogs and destroying their natural habitat. In this episode of Poetic Beats, we look at Davy D’s poem Night Pigs, a poem describing a night visit to his garden by hedgehogs, and discuss some of the issues facing the hedgehog and its surroundings.

If you have difficulty listening to the programme, a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.

To hear this week’s Poetic Beats please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.

 

 

Night Pigs

 

Dark eyes and snouts appear

from the rustling undergrowth.

Two slick backed spinal wigs

illuminated by garden light.

 

The Night Pigs emerge

snuffle by snuffle,

legs purposeful in a

midnight dad dance,

advancing on a prey

not designed for resistance.

 

Tiddles stands guard,

miffed, but pain

and experience taught

him the pecking order.

 

In perfect harmony

they trough the cat food,

each mouthful broken by

a glance for enemies,

the occasional stand down

to hoover surrounding debris.

 

The pendulum’s swing slows time,

until empty bowls

signal a sprint back

into the bosom

of the willow,

a final rustle their

thanks, and goodbyes.

 

Soon, Winter will be upon them

and who knows

how long they will sleep?

 

© Davy D 2018

 

 

 

 

To Winter

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 22nd of January 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

In this show we read and analyse William Blake’s poem, To Winter. Blake was a poet who was shunned by the establishment at the time, becoming the voice of the working class. His claims of being a mystic had him labelled as a madman. He died in poverty but left art and poetry that has gone on to inspire many people. One such was rock musician Patti Smith and we discuss how William Blake’s influence provided the foundation for many of her hits, including Because the Night.

If you have difficulty listening to the programme, a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.

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To Winter

O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:

The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark

Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs

Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.

 

He hears me not, but o’er the yawning deep

Rides heavy; his storms are unchain’d, sheathed

In ribbed steel; I dare not lift mine eyes;

For he hath rear’d his scepter o’er the world.

 

Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings

To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:

He withers all in silence, and in his hand

Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.

 

He takes his seat upon the cliffs, the mariner

Cries in vain. Poor little wretch! that deal’st

With storms; till heaven smiles, and the monster

Is driven yelling to his caves beneath Mount Hecla.

 

William Blake