Christina Rossetti

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

Goodbye Autumn: Hello Winter

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D recorded on the 27th of November 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

With Autumn coming to and end in the UK and Winter approaching, we look at the poem Autumn Violets, by Christina Rossetti. The poem reflects on how everything has its place, with Violets being flowers of the Spring.

Christina Rossetti is regarded as one of the greatest English poets of the 19th Century. Her most famous poem, A Christmas Carol, will be sung all over the world throughout Christmas. Placed to music by Gustav Holst in 1906, the song version was titled, In the Bleak Midwinter.

If you are having difficulty accessing the recording, a text version of the poem is provided after the sound bar.

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

 

 

Autumn Violets

 

Keep love for youth, and violets for the spring:

Or if these bloom when worn-out autumn grieves,

Let them lie hid in double shade of leaves,

Their own, and others dropped down withering;

For violets suit when home birds build and sing,

Not when the outbound bird a passage cleaves;

Not with dry stubble of mown harvest sheaves,

But when the green world buds to blossoming.

Keep violets for the spring, and love for youth,

Love that should dwell with beauty, mirth, and hope:

Or if a later sadder love be born,

Let this not look for grace beyond its scope,

But give itself, nor plead for answering truth—

A grateful Ruth tho’ gleaning scanty corn.

 

Christina Georgina Rossetti: