Poetic Beats

The Wild Swans at Coole

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 16th of October 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

This week we read and analyse the poem, The Wild Swans at Coole, written by one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century, William Butler Yeats.

It is believed by many that Yeats used this poem to explore the frailty of human life. When the poem was published in 1917 the world was in the grip of The Great War and, having turned fifty, Yeats believed he was entering the twilight of his life.

Poetic Beats is becoming so popular we had a visit, in this programme, from one of the local pilots who brought his plane close to the studio to get a better listen.

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

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

 

The Wild Swans at Coole

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

William Butler Yeats.

The World’s Gone Conkers

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 9th of October 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

In this show we look at the sport of conkers and give a potted history of the once favourite schoolyard activity. Davy D relives, in poetic form, the time he defeated a Goliath and became the school conker king. We also bring a recent and revealing update on the recent world conker championships that took place on the 8th of October 2017 in the UK.

For those of you who can’t access the recording, the text version of the Poem, The Conkerer, used in this programme is added after the sound bar.

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

 

The Conkerer

It was the greatest day the school had seen
Since Mrs Bleasdale met the Queen.
A schoolyard filled with every form
Anticipating the coming storm.

In the distance stood Basher White,
His twenty-fiver bathed in light,
Staring at me, his next conquest,
Wearing oversize shoes and a white string vest.

But I knew Basher was not all there,
There was stacks of space beneath his hair.
For days I prepared for what was coming,
Baking my conker in the kitchen oven,
And with some varnish made it tough.
Whatever Basher had would never be enough.

As a Roman God he strode towards me,
His squinting eyes lined me up,
I felt the force of his twenty- fiver,
From the cup of doom, I was about to sup.

Fate she smiled on me that day.
Basher’s shot missing by a country mile.
In return I hit the bulls-eye,
From his face removed his snarl.

Like the FA cup I was hoisted high,
Paraded around every class in school.
Basher never did discover my secret,
The day I turned him from bully to fool.

John Keats and his Ode – To Autumn

Poetic Beats

Welcome this week’s edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 2nd of October 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

Autumn marches on in the UK and, in this edition, we look at one of the most iconic and anthologised of all Autumn poems, To Autumn, by John Keats. Despite dying at the early age of 25, Keats left us with some of the greatest poems in the English Language. Some academics consider this poem as the most perfect piece of poetry ever written.

For those of you who can’t access the recording, the text version of To Autumn is added after the sound bar.

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

 

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Violins and Poetry

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this weeks edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 11th of September 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

In this edition I read my poem, First Violin, and look at the role of the violin in poetry. Louisa May Alcott referred to the violin as “the most human of all instruments. Emily Dickinson used the violin in her poetry as a metaphor to describe her understanding of the connection between Spirit and Body.

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

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

 

Poetic Beats will be taking a break for a couple of weeks and will be back on Friday the 6th of October. Have a great weekend.

First Violin

it was a thing of beauty.
your face a picture, as you
opened the case and saw it
for the first time
laid in red silk, fairy lights reflecting
on polished maple,
resin overpowering pine.

we laughed as you battled
with the chinrest, trying to
breathe new life
into aged strings.

we cried at your early renditions
of “cat dragged across a blackboard.”

you persevered.

Sunday mornings
became the Royal Festival Hall.
Mutter, Neveu, Handel
graffiti on your bedroom wall.
until youth’s folly led you away,
the violin put to rest again.

sometimes i still sneak
into your cupboard
opening the case, listening
to the songs you left behind –

amongst disturbed dust.

© Davy D 2017

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Motion is My Muse (The Movie)

Unfortunately, due to the fact I am masquerading as poet with one foot at the moment, there is no Poetic Beats this week. Instead I have been experimenting with some video and poetry and have put together this piece for one of my poems, Motion is My Muse.

I would be really interested in your feedback and thoughts as I would like to develop more of this kind of work. Please enjoy and normal service with Poetic Beats will be restored next Friday.

Have a great weekend.

Poetic Beats #4

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this weeks edition of Poetic Beats with Howard B and Davy D, recorded on the 7th of August 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

The poetic theme for August is Summer and  for this month’s first instalment we look at the poem, Chasing Butterflies, using it as a metaphor to highlight the beauty and struggle of writing poetry.

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

Enjoy, and any thoughts are welcomed.

Poetic Beats #3

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this weeks Poetic Beats with Howard B and Davy D, recorded on the 31st of July 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

In this weeks edition, Mr. Bond and I take a stroll through the beautiful Lake District with William Wordsworth and one of his most famous poems, Daffodils. This wasn’t the title that Wordsworth gave the poem. To find out more and to hear some other fascinating facts about the poem, and the poet, have a listen to the programme.

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

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Poetic Beats #2

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this weeks Poetic Beats with Howard B and Davy D, recorded on the 24th of July 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

Continuing on this month’s theme of poetry and motion,  I read the poem, On the 11.37 with Sylvia Plath. We look at poetry and trains and give an insight as to how Sylvia Plath’s poetry collection, Ariel, and the 21st Century scourge, mobile phones on trains, planted seeds for the poetry.

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

Enjoy the conversation and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.