As I am taking a sabbatical from painting and going home to Guildford for a while I thought I would share some of the poetry and prose I love
I will be adding to this every now and then. But to start I want to share these three with you. The first has to be a piece from Shakespeare sonnets, our most revered of all wordsmiths. The second is from one of my favourite poets Edward Lear, who never fails to bring a smile to my face. Then there has to be a quatrain from The Rubaiyat (my constant companion) whose wisdom and beauty never fails to sooth and guide
From you have I been absent in the spring… (Sonnet 98)
“From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play”.
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear
“How pleasant to know Mr. Lear,
Who has written such volumes of stuff.
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
But a few find him pleasant enough.
His mind is concrete and fastidious,
His nose is remarkably big;
His visage is more or less hideous,
His beard it resembles a wig.
He has ears, and two eyes, and ten fingers,
(Leastways if you reckon two thumbs);
He used to be one of the singers,
But now he is one of the dumbs.
He sits in a beautiful parlour,
With hundreds of books on the wall;
He drinks a great deal of marsala,
But never gets tipsy at all.
He has many friends, laymen and clerical,
Old Foss is the name of his cat;
His body is perfectly spherical,
He weareth a runcible hat.
When he walks in waterproof white,
The children run after him so!
Calling out, “He’s gone out in his night-
Gown, that crazy old Englishman, oh!”
He weeps by the side of the ocean,
He weeps on the top of the hill;
He purchases pancakes and lotion,
And chocolate shrimps from the mill.
He reads, but he does not speak, Spanish,
He cannot abide ginger beer;
Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish,
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!”
Finally for this posting, there has to be a quatrain from The Rubaiyat. This first time I have chosen what is probably the most famous and the easiest to interpret.
“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it”.
Omar Khayyam (Umar Khayyam)
I hope you enjoyed them, feel free to send me your favourites for inclusion. if I like them I will add them to these pages credited to you