Poetic Beats

Adlestrop

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 11th of June 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

On the 24th of June 1914 the poet, Edward Thomas, was on a train to visit fellow poet Robert Frost, when the train made an unscheduled stop at Adlestrop station in Gloucestershire. Thomas recorded notes of the brief visit and the words went on to form the poem Adlestrop, voted in the top 20 British poems ever to be written.

The poem has been compared to the works of Elgar and Henry V’s speech before the Battle of Agincourt and has been described as everything that is typically English.

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Adlestrop

Yes. I remember Adlestrop—

The name, because one afternoon

Of heat the express-train drew up there

Unwontedly. It was late June.

 

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.

No one left and no one came

On the bare platform. What I saw

Was Adlestrop—only the name

 

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,

And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,

No whit less still and lonely fair

Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

 

And for that minute a blackbird sang

Close by, and round him, mistier,

Farther and farther, all the birds

Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

 

Edward Thomas.

 

From a Railway Carriage

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 21st May 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

Today’s poem, From a Railway Carriage, written by Robert Louis Stevenson, is a poem many readers may remember from their schooldays. The poem is written in a form and style evoking the feeling of being onboard a moving train. Robert Louis Stevenson was more famously known for his literary classics, Treasure Island, Kidnapped and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but wrote many poems. From a Railway Carriage appeared in his collection of children’s poetry titled, A Children’s Garden of Verse, published in 1885.

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.

 

 

From a Railway Carriage

 

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,

Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;

And charging along like troops in a battle,

All through the meadows the horses and cattle:

All of the sights of the hill and the plain

Fly as thick as driving rain;

And ever again, in the wink of an eye,

Painted stations whistle by.

 

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,

All by himself and gathering brambles;

Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;

And there is the green for stringing the daisies!

Here is a cart run away in the road

Lumping along with man and load;

And here is a mill and there is a river:

Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

 

Robert Louis Stevenson

 

Trainspotting

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 14th of May 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

We continue this month’s theme of trains with a poem by Davy D called Trainspotting. The poem describes the experience of waiting for a train at Haddenham and Thame Parkway railway station and how doing something different, like not getting on the train, can help break habit and provide a different experience for poetry.

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

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

 

 

Trainspotting

 

Neon shadows follow across

a deserted platform as

November’s wind rattles

the corrugated shelter.

Inside, blue and yellow shout

Oxford to London

disturbing an empty coke can.

 

Between the swoosh of

electronic doors, eyes in

love’s first bloom. Business

suits and trainers striding

for pole position; muted

conversation rising above

a now constant whirr.

 

Apple Macs open.

Samsung and Sony

compete for trade.

Pen and paper lay

out battle lines.

 

The train now arriving at platform 2.

 

Blurs of black, grey and

blue charge the doors,

frenzied moments en-route

to final pay slips. Madness

limping to a bleak horizon,

leaving solitude and

silence to be reconciled.

 

© Davy D 2018

Wordsworth’s Last Stand

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 7th of May 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

In 1844 a railway line, running from Kendal to Windermere in the Lake District, was proposed. Part of the line was intended to run into the heart of the Lakes, an area loved by the poet William Wordsworth. Wordsworth was outraged by the new proposal and used his privilege as Poet Laureate to protest to then Prime Minister, William Gladstone. Today’s poem, On The Projected Kendal and Windermere Railway, was written by Wordsworth as part of the correspondence to Gladstone and the media.

In this episode of Poetic Beats, Davy D reads and discusses the poem and some of the related issues around Wordsworth’s protest. If you have difficulty listening to the show a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.

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

 

 

On the Projected Kendal and Windermere Railway

 

Is then no nook of English ground secure

From rash assault?  Schemes of retirement sown

In youth, and mid the busy world kept pure

As when their earliest flowers of hope were blown,

Must perish;—­how can they this blight endure?

And must he too the ruthless change bemoan

Who scorns a false utilitarian lure

Mid his paternal fields at random thrown?

Baffle the threat, bright Scene, from Orrest-head

Given to the pausing traveller’s rapturous glance:

Plead for thy peace, thou beautiful romance

Of nature; and, if human hearts be dead,

Speak, passing winds; ye torrents, with your strong

And constant voice, protest against the wrong.

 

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.

Don’t Look Behind The Sofa

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s edition of Poetic beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 30th of April 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

In this episode Davy D reads his poem, Don’t Look Behind The Sofa. The word Sofa is derived from the Arabic word, suffah, meaning bench. The first sofas were used in 2000BC by the Egyptian Pharaohs and are now a key part of modern day design and living.

Did you know over its lifetime a sofa will host around 782 visitors? If you want to know more amazing facts about the sofa then please listen to the show by pressing the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.

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

 

 

 

Don’t Look Behind The Sofa

 

Don’t look behind the sofa,

you never know what’s there.

A set of granny’s mouldy teeth

or an eight-foot grizzly bear?

 

Maybe one of dad’s cheesy socks,

a toffee you’ve forgotten.

Maybe a shiny one-pound coin

or tissues with lots of snot on (uurgh).

 

It’s dark behind the sofa

where giants go to grow,

where Zombles and Quadrillaks

have discos and who knows

 

about gremlins and goblins

who meet there every week,

and fairies and demons

who stop by to take a seat.

 

There’s another world behind your sofa

that comes to life while you sleep.

If you think you’re brave enough

creep downstairs tonight and peek.

 

© Davy D 2018

 

 

 

The Laureate of Nonsense

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats, with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 23rd of April 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

Edward Lear was often referred to as the Laureate of Nonsense and famous for turning his travels around the world into limerick form. He wrote poetry as an escape from his main profession as an illustrator and painter of birds and landscapes. He also spent time as Art Master to Queen Victoria, teaching her to draw and paint.

In this episode of Poetic Beats Davy D reads Lear’s poem, The Table And The Chair, which is taken from his second collection, Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets, published in 1871.

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

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

 

 

 

The Table And The Chair

I

Said the Table to the Chair,

‘You can hardly be aware,

‘How I suffer from the heat,

‘And from chilblains on my feet!

‘If we took a little walk,

‘We might have a little talk!

‘Pray let us take the air!’

Said the Table to the Chair.

 

II

Said the Chair unto the Table,

‘Now you know we are not able!

‘How foolishly you talk,

‘When you know we cannot walk!’

Said the Table, with a sigh,

‘It can do no harm to try,

‘I’ve as many legs as you,

‘Why can’t we walk on two?’

 

III

So they both went slowly down,

And walked about the town

With a cheerful bumpy sound,

As they toddled round and round.

And everybody cried,

As they hastened to their side,

‘See! the Table and the Chair

‘Have come out to take the air!’

 

IV

But in going down an alley,

To a castle in a valley,

They completely lost their way,

And wandered all the day,

Till, to see them safely back,

They paid a Ducky-quack,

And a Beetle, and a Mouse,

Who took them to their house.

 

V

Then they whispered to each other,

‘O delightful little brother!

‘What a lovely walk we’ve taken!

‘Let us dine on Beans and Bacon!’

So the Ducky, and the leetle

Browny-Mousy and the Beetle

Dined, and danced upon their heads

Till they toddled to their beds.

 

Edward Lear

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

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

 

 

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.

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

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

 

 

 

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.

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

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

 

 

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.

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

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

 

 

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.