Poetic Motivations:60

Poetic Motivations-60

Oxfordshire in Autumn

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this weeks edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 4th of September 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

For September, we are changing the poetic theme to Autumn and in this edition look at Matthew Arnold’s poem, Oxfordshire, taken from his epic work, The Scholar Gipsy. Arnold is attributed to giving the City of Oxford the title, “City of Dreaming Spires”, when he provided the description in his poem Thyrsis.

For those of you who can’t access the recording, the text version of his poem is added after the recording bar.

To hear the recording, please press the arrow on the left of the sound bar below.

Have a great weekend.


Oxfordshire –  (from the Scholar Gipsy) 

And, above Godstow Bridge, when hay-time’s here

In June, and many a scythe in sunshine flames,

Men who through those wide fields of breezy grass

Where black-wing’d swallows haunt the glittering Thames,

To bathe in the abandon’d lasher pass,

Have often pass’d thee near

Sitting upon the river bank o’ergrown;

Mark’d thine outlandish garb, thy figure spare,

Thy dark vague eyes, and soft abstracted air—

But, when they came from bathing, thou wert gone!


At some lone homestead in the Cumner hills,

Where at her open door the housewife darns,

Thou hast been seen, or hanging on a gate

To watch the threshers in the mossy barns.

Children, who early range these slopes and late

For cresses from the rills,

Have known thee watching, all an April-day,

The springing pasture and the feeding kine;

And mark’d thee, when the stars come out and shine,

Through the long dewy grass move slow away.


In Autumn, on the skirts of Bagley Wood—

Where most the gipsies by the turf-edged way

Pitch their smok’d tents, and every bush you see

With scarlet patches tagg’d and shreds of grey,

Above the forest-ground called Thessaly—

The blackbird, picking food,

Sees thee, nor stops his meal, nor fears at all;

So often has he known thee past him stray,

Rapt, twirling in thy hand a wither’d spray,

And waiting for the spark from Heaven to fall.

Matthew Arnold











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Poetic Motivations:59

Poetic Motivations-59

Going Batty in Thame

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this weeks edition of Poetic Beats, with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded  on the 28th August 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

To finish the August theme of Summer we had a different look at the game of Cricket. How would the bats, hanging in the belfry at St.Mary’s Church, Thame, view this peculiar of English sports?

I have added the text version of the poem after the recording, as I know some of you may have been experiencing difficulties listening due to variations with browsers.

To hear the recording, please press the arrow on the left of the sound bar below.

Enjoy and thoughts are always welcome.


Going Batty in Thame

The bats in St Mary’s belfry were feeling rather perturbed,
Across the graves in Church Meadows, a sight had left them disturbed.
Twenty-Two men in Persil white suits were preparing to go into battle,
As crowds of people, armed with cream teas, engaged in Thame tittle -tattle.

Some of the men had very short legs, others were standing in slips,
One in particular, crouched on the green, pads coming up to his hips.
Two older gents covered in sweaters, sported numerous hats,
Every so often a finger was raised, as bowlers screamed at them “howzat.”

In the glaring heat of a Chiltern sun they slogged and bounced and beamed.
Some men went in, some men came out, others lazed in their dreams.
One all-rounder turned into a duck, doing it all for nought.
He only swung his bat the once and walked off face all fraught.

After six hours slog, with a break for their tea, the fight it ended drawn.
And over drinks in Jimmy Figg’s snug, stories were shared into dawn,
Of sixes and fours, leg byes and wides, bowling some maidens over.
Cricket can seem the strangest of sports, enough to leave bats hungover.

© Davy D 2017

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