William Wordsworth

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.

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

westminster-bridge

On the last Thursday of each month Poetry Spotlight will share some of my favourite poems. This will include poems which have impacted on me at various stages of my life and poetry I have discovered on Social Media, through the excellent blogs I read daily.

The first poem in this feature is William Wordsworth’s, Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802.

The poem has meaning for me for several reasons. I was born 10 miles from Wordsworth’s birthplace in the Lake District. His poetry was a part of the school curriculum and this was one of his first poems I was introduced to.

As a young boy, the poem would bring visions of standing on Westminster Bridge, savouring Wordsworth’s view across the Thames and the lure and bright lights of London. Little did I know that in February 1983 the visions would become reality when I became a police officer in the city.

Over the next 30 years I lost count of the number of times I stood on Westminster Bridge and recited the words of the poem. As time progressed the meaning of the poem changed as, through my work, I was exposed to the dark underbelly hidden in London.

Standing on the bridge, watching the Thames flow by and replaying Wordsworth’s vision, in 1802, always brought a sense of peace and calm, a reminder there were still

Is a Poem Ever Finished?

Is a poem ever finished blog

I was having a clear up of the poetry den this week when I came across an old journal of my poetry. This was a collection of poems I had written between 1987 and 1989.

At the time I was working as a police officer in London and part of a unit dealing with major crime and disorder. The work was, at times, dangerous and handling high levels of stress and pressure was commonplace.

Writing these poems was a release valve, a time out to relax and get some thoughts and emotions down on paper. In 1989 I felt these poems were worthy of Shakespearian adoration. For whatever reason they never got any further than the bottom drawer.

Over twenty-five years later it was strange experience reading them again.
The Shakespearian delusions were shattered but, on reflection, I realised I had a number of useful drafts that could be moulded into pieces of poetry.

This made me think, is a poem ever finished?

Writing a poem is a snapshot in time. A photo of our thoughts, feelings and emotions in that moment.

We draft, re-draft, ponder, spend days mulling over changing a full stop into a comma.

The poem goes away and when we reacquaint ourselves with it, something has changed. Our lives are different; we are no longer the same people in that same moment.

If Sir John Betjeman was alive today would he change the words and tone of his poem Slough?

Would Wordsworth wake up in a sweat and re-write Daffodils?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

What is Poetry?

What is poetry blog

Sitting at a barbeque, at the weekend, a guest turned to me and said “I hear you’re a poet.”

A conversation ensued which led to me showing her the Inside the Mind of Davy D blog.

After a short while browsing on her phone, she turned to me and whispered,
“That’s not poetry, it’s just words and pictures……………. and it doesn’t even rhyme.”

Before we got to the “How many books have you published?” question I thanked her for the feedback and went and got another glass of Malbec.

In fairness, she had a point and raised a good question, what is poetry?

Standard dictionary definitions show poetry as;

1. The art or craft of writing verse.
2. Literature written in meter; verse.
3. Prose that resembles a poem in some respect, as in form or sound.
4. Poetic qualities, spirit or feeling in anything.

Ask five poets to define poetry and they will give you five different answers.

To complicate matters further the website Poem Of Quotes lists 55 types of poetic form, ranging from ABC Poetry to Visual-Concrete Poetry.

So how do we establish what is poetry, and does it really matter?

Each week I read and enjoy many forms of poetry, some of which break the boundaries of what is considered to be conventional poetry. In my view, the most important thing should be the impact, thoughts and emotions the poem (in whatever form) leaves with the reader.

As William Wordsworth said, “All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of feelings.”

What are your thoughts on what is, or is not, poetry?