Twitching #birds #calendar #Spring #song #March #wildlife #blog

Hello. This is not a tweet it’s…

my 200th Blog Post! and it’s dedicated to the poets and composers of the sky: Birds.

Take a look at these British Birds – poster babes or calendar chicks. After Winter, comes Spring and its time to start bird-watching. Here’s a lovely line-up of some of our favourites. Listen out for each unique tune…

Pay special attention in towns and cities, above the roar of traffic sing many a songbird. It’s a busy season: new buds, new grubs, new greens, new shrubs…keep ears and eyes open and support our wildlife. 
Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

Advertisements

In England – now! #England #Spring #blossom #seasons #poets #writers #weather

‘Seasons change winter to spring’ (so they sang in the film, Moulin Rouge).
Spring leading to summer warms the spirit and the pen, and becomes an inspirational and contemplative period for poets and writers, thinkers and dreamers, wanderers, followers and gatherers.

In May the world’s spin passes The Great Britain of temperate climate, through a gloriously green, flowery, abundant and prospectively fruitful season.  

Whether the weather brings sunny rapture or cloudy repulsion, there remains a gay, optimistic, signal of hope for this early part of the year.

From, Robert Browning, 1845

‘And after April, when May follows,

And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallow!

Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge

Leans to the field and scatters on the clover

Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge- ‘


To, A. E. Housman, 1890, whose diaries cover two areas of interest, “the variety of the seasons – mainly Spring and Autumn – the weather, and the dates at which flowers come into bloom.”

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough…

About the woodlands I will go 

To see the cherry hung with snow.”

Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

White Apple blossoms framed by the dotted blue of forget-me-nots, in England – now!


London plays host to golden daffodils #London #parks #poetry #flowers #daffodils

Here is a delightful photo of bright and breezy daffodil heads bringing colour to the Royal Parks of London.
In the UK one can witness daffodils as early as December (East Sussex) and as late as late May (Perthshire, Scotland).

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 more golden daffodils were planted in Green Park and here they are in their floral glory.  

William Wordsworth wrote in 1804 a classic poet’s dedication to this supremely beautiful spring flower, with its open trumpet, framed frilly petals and long firm stem.  Ahh silence is golden.

‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ was inspired by the daffodils on The Lakes in Grasmere which William’s sister Dorothy had described in her journal of April 1802. It must also be recognised that many of the lines were hers. “I never saw daffodils so beautiful,” wrote Dorothy.

Here is a snippet:

‘… all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils’

‘… they stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.’

‘… a poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company.’

‘… they flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude ‘

(Wordsworth noted “the two best lines in it are by Dorothy”)

‘And then my heart with pleasure fills 

And dances with the daffodils.’

Every spring they rise again, a fitting metaphor for the symbol of Easter.

Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

  

March Mothers, no stress #poetry #sculpture #MothersDay #March

English poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born on 6th March, 1806 (210 years ago today). She was mother of a boy called Robert and nicknamed Pen (!)

‘How I love thee? Let me count the ways…’


Italian painter, sculptor, architect and poet, Michelangelo Buonarotti was born on 6th March, 1475. Here is a poetical piece by him, in sculptural terms giving birth to a beautiful figure of Carrara marble. Listen to him explain it, my lady…

‘My lady it’s the taking 

away that gives the marble grace

and bares the figure’s face

to grow beneath the flaking.

And like the figure I’m encased:

so hard the rough excess

of carnal appetite,

which closes me from light,

that straining is no use.

But lady you can carve distress

away and sculpt me lose.’

Carve away all stresses and strains and enjoy a peaceful day of mother’s love this Mother’s Day; long wonderful hours, united under an umbrella of happiness.  

No phones at the table, focus on the here and now; the happening not the must-have need of a small piece of matter (iPad, mobile phone etc) allowing you to exist in a mammoth technological space.  

The only world you need today is the mothering one.

A bigger and greater world is made in sharing time and being together.

Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com
No mothers were harmed or alarmed in the taking of this ‘shop window’ photo.
  

Two hearts #poetry #Italy #London #poets #love #January

On the 10th January, 1845, poet Robert Browning wrote to poet Elizabeth Barrett declaring
“I love your verses (her latest collection of poems) with all my heart dear Miss Barrett… – and I love you.” 
And so on this day began a courtship by correspondence of two beautiful poets.  

They did not actually meet until the May; Elizabeth was bedridden in a darkened room and suffering from an undiagnosed ailment. Browning waited patiently and longingly and remained undeterred in his affection for her. His weekly visits to Wimpole Street, central London were a restorative to her health.  

Thus proving that love, love-letters, love-thoughts and love poetry are deeply effective remedies.

They were married in secret in September 1846 at The Mary-le-Bone Church in Marylebone, and eloped to the mild climes and less expensive life in Italy.  

Poet, William Wordsworth is reported to have commented, “Well, I hope they understand one another – nobody else would.”

Thankfully (Mr Wordsworth) they absolutely did.

And so to you I say this, find someone who loves and understands you; someone you think about a little bit more than everyone else around you, and tell them…it will make them feel so much better.

‘The face of all the world is changed I think

Since first I heard the footsteps of thy soul…’

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’ VII


‘…And a voice less loud, thro’ its joys and fears,

Than two hearts beating each to each!’

Robert Browning: ‘Meeting At Night.’


Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

  

Time to rage against the ‘dying of the light’  #solstice #poetry #December #Hastings

In the UK, the 21st December is the shortest day of the year – the ‘winter solstice’.

In Hastings, East Sussex – beside the sea and looking out about 40 miles across the channel to the northern beaches of France – the sun rises at 07.58 and sets at 15.54.

Every day the sun will set exactly one minute later, ‘come rain or shine’ as Sinatra once sang. However sunrise works at a much slower pace increasing (not decreasing yet) by one minute every few days.  

In the first week there is no noticeable difference, but you are happy in the knowledge that ‘the days are getting longer.’ What a great relief!

Naturally the sunset and the sunrise do not determine the weather conditions – these are a whole other phenomenon.

So whatever you are doing – indoors or out – you’ll be gaining priceless light minutes in which to do it, which will add up along the way…!

‘As the blinding shadows fall,

As the rays diminish,

Under the evening’s cloak, they all

Roll away and vanish.’

From ‘Night And Day’ by R.L.Stevenson

‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light…’
Dylan Thomas

Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

  

Persons of notable repute to this place came … #history #poetry #GreatBritain #London

The old church garden on Marylebone High Street, London commemorates the site of the old parish church of St Mary on the River Tyburn, in the village of St Mary le Bourne, hence Marylebone. It was built 1400, rebuilt 1741, and demolished 1949.

On this site ‘Persons of notable repute in The History of Great Britain,’ are remembered.

Who are they?

Sir Francis Bacon (born 1561) English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist and author.  

In the mid 19th century some of the plays conventionally attributed to Shakespeare were believed to have been written by him. He was MARRIED here in 1606.

William Hogarth, painter, engraver, satirist PORTRAYED the church interior, 1735.

James Gibbs, architect and pupil of Wren, was BURIED here, 1754.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Irish playwright and poet, MARRIED here 1773; he is buried in Poets Corner, Westminster Abbey.

Charles Wesley, co-founder of the Methodist Movement, BURIED here, 1788.

Lord Byron, poet, BAPTISED here, 1788.

Lord Nelson, WORSHIPPED here and his daughter Horatia, BAPTISED here, 1803.

‘So we’ll go no more a-roving

So late into the night

Though the heart still be as loving

And the moon still be as bright.’

‘We’ll go no more a-roving’ 

by Lord Byron, and his Romantic ideals.

If the building has to go, write down its memories and remember them, so we can pass it all on … This is what comes of wandering, look left and look right, stop and stare

  

A Rosette to a Rossetti #poetry #poets #London

The Rossetti family of 19th century, central London, became a distinguished bunch of people, dedicated to their talents of Art and Literature.  

The family house in Bloomsbury was filled with the old master influences of Petrarch and Dante Aligheri, as well as the visiting presence of Italian scholars, artists and revolutionaries.

Let’s be briefly introduced… 

Father of the family, Gabriele Rossetti was a poet and political exile from Vasto, Abruzzo, Italy.

Mother of the family was Frances Polidori, the sister of John William who was friend and physician to Lord Byron. John was also an enthusiastic writer; the first to create the idea of a blood-sucking-vampire, whose gentlemanly breeding, manners, and sophistication were based on Byron.

Son, William and daughter, Maria both became writers.

Son, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (and William too) was co-founder of the artistic group, The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; he was an influential artist and poet.

And finally Christina Rossetti, the youngest child, was an intelligent and creative poet; with a mix of her own troubles and experiences, she channelled her ideas into poetry and prose.  

Today I wish to announce that it is she, Christina, who shall wear the rosette for writing some of the most beautiful, imaginative and evocative lines in the English language. She followed in the steps of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning as the main female poet of her time (1860s) and was highly regarded and much appreciated by the critics of this male-dominated society.

At some point in your life, in some way and maybe without realising it, you will come across a Rossetti.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;

Hang it with vair and purple dyes;

Carve it in doves and pomegranates,

And peacocks with a hundred eyes;

Work it in silver gold and grapes,

In leaves and in silver fleur-de-lys;

Because the birthday of my life

Is come, my love is come to me.

Second and final verse from ‘A Birthday’ by Christina Rossetti.

Follow my blogs for FREE http://www.katebarnwell.com

  

Words, words, words #words #poetry #BritishLibrary

It is greatly upsetting when you pass by someone who swears loudly and profusely, using every unpleasant word you can think of in all its many variations (verb, adjective etc.).  It is, furthermore, intensely upsetting if these words are directed at you for no other reason than the liberation of one man’s angst and frustrations. Yes, this happened to me at the start of the day…so how to proceed if you are a sensitive type? 

Actually it struck me as sad and pitying to think that so many people know so many ugly words when there are so many beautiful ones. 
Poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge maintained that “the true end of poetry is to give pleasure through the medium of beauty.”

Wonderful words to strengthen and enrich us; to be shared, enjoyed and passed on… like those in verse, prose and poetry.

“Quieten down, hear the sound

The sound of the world spinning round

Around the corners of your lip

He will plant a daring kiss

A kiss disappears like a whispering prayer

But the sound of his voice lies everywhere

Wherever I pass or travel through

His soft words shall journey too.”



It doesn’t hurt to have the last word on the matter.

This photo shows the British library in London whose vast collection holds the original, hand-written documents of Jane Austen, Winston Churchill, John Lennon, President Roosevelt…to name a few great writers; those who used words to change the world, to make our lives and enrich ourselves.

Subscribe
to my blogs for FREE on the homepage http://www.katebarnwell.com

  

Neutral Ground #poetry #sea #EastSussex

The British coast line of East Sussex

 
What is it about the land known as a beach or the coastline?  It seems to possess some kind of unexplained magic within the human psyche and soul.

A vast, free space of solitude and magnitude and belonging to no one but he who seeks its solace.

Observe the Cretaceous cliffs, 120 million years old (twice the more famous Jurassic period) crumbling with a countless battering of strain and strife.

To live as free as a bird and as wild as the wind, winding itself up into a swirling whirl of dizziness, is momentarily wonderful!

In one week I came across two British poets, Laurie Lee and Sir John Betjeman who have both described the sea as ‘neutral.’

Laurie Lee (from ‘As I Stepped Out One Mid-Summer Morning‘) stated his position at sea as “a salt stung neutral nowhere.”

Below in the engraving of Betjeman’s verse he is jubilant, joyful and comforted by the freedom of the sea.

Perhaps in the sea lies Neutrality and in Neutrality lies Peace.
Subscribe to my blogs for FREE, visit my homepage at http://www.katebarnwell.com  

  

At the end of the road – turn to WRITE-ING!#poetry #travel

How marvellous to find one street, with one name, written in two languages…

The cul-de-sac of the ‘Poet– first in French, then in Catalan.

  
Catalan – known as a Romance language, derives from Vulgar Latin. It was the troubadours of the 12th century who founded lyrical poetry and love songs(cancons).

Els Amants by Vincent Andres Estelles (1924-1993)
‘Es desperta, de sobte, com un vell huraca
I ens tomba en terra els dos, ens ajunta, ens empeny.’

(Catalan)

The Lovers
‘Love, it awakens suddenly, like an old hurricane
It throws us to the ground, it joins us together,
Squeezing us tightly.’

A little walk, a little looking around, leads to bigger things in surprising places!
They do say, “What goes around, comes around,” – well it was a cul-de-sac!

Subscribe to my blogs for FREE on my homepage www.katebarnwell.com
www.katebarnwell.com
Signup to Kate’s free newsletter
WordPress Twitter Facebook Youtube

Standing up for Taking Time #quotes #poetry #leisure

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” Words of wisdom and reflection from The Beatle Mr John Lennon.

Busy people in a busy world, all staring at their computers and phones, are not watching the world go by, but letting the world pass them by.
To stand, and to stare costs nothing at all, yet the rewards are great gifts to humanity. The simple, inexpensive pastime pleasures are even better shared and smiled at with someone special.

Reading this poem by W.H.Davies,‘Leisure,’ I could not miss out a couplet of it, he says it all so perfectly…

What is this life if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Find your inner beauty…Start standing, staring and caring Today!

Subscribe to my newsletter for FREE, visit my homepage at www.katebarnwell.com
And receive my weekly postings!

www.katebarnwell.com
Signup to Kate’s free newsletter
WordPress Twitter Facebook Youtube

Husband & Wife, poet & poetess

Ted Hughes (1930-1998) & Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) were husband & wife and poet & poetess

Let’s hear from him

“O lady when the tipped cup of the moon blessed you

You became soft fire with a cloud’s grace.
And from her

“Words dry and riderless

The indefatigable hoof taps.

While

From the bottom of the pool, fixed stars

Govern a life.”
Carefully described or freely defined…

You are FREE to choose your Poetry.