End of the Year! #NewYear #AuldLangSyne #celebration #song #remembrance #poem #midnight #kindness

Wherever you wake up today and wherever you end your night, be it Sea, City or country dwelling… be safe and be thoughtful.

It is customary, in English speaking countries, to end the year, at the strike of midnight to a delightful (if struggling) rendition of the Poem ‘Auld Lang Syne’ by Scotsman, Robert Burns, written in 1788 (with slight variations to the original) and sung to a traditional folk tune.

The translation of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is ‘Days Gone By,’ or ‘For the sake of old times.’ That we might think of long-standing friendships, old acquaintances – they should not be forgotten – and days passed, memories made; reflection and contemplation and remembrance.

If ever there was a time of year to consider what has been and gone it is now, before we busy ourselves with what’s next.

So here’s to looking back fondly and moving forward faithfully.

Start the new year with a cup of kindness.

Should old acquaintance be forgot

And never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot

And old lang syne…

For auld lang syne, my dear

For auld lang syne,

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet

For (the sake of) auld lang syne…

COMING UP in 2018, a new novel: ‘A Worldly Tale Told Of Mothy Chambers’

by K.G.V. Barnwell


For ‘the few’ a few words #remembrance #poppy #silence #war #WWI #November #Armistice

The 11th November is Armistice Day, pausing for a two minutes silence at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month. 
12-13th of November is Remembrance Weekend with special attention on the Sunday for full commemorative services across the country and across the world whether they take place in church, mosque, temple, abbey, at a memorial or at home.  

The Poppy is the symbol of a lost life at war.

Everyone has love, loved; loss, lost. Reflection and memories require time and attention and Emotion can sometimes be indefinable (poetry can help express what we struggle to find in simple words).

Whatever the conflict, feelings are universal.

Emotion has no boundary or divide; it instinctively unite us, wherever in the world you stand.


Kind quotes in constant print (from Shelley to Keats) #Romanticism #JohnKeats #Shelley #poetry #OnThisDay

In kindness, and in sympathy Percy Shelley remembers in poetry, the most fitting and appropriate art form, his fellow Romantic poet, John Keats, who died in Rome, 23rd February 1821.

‘He is a presence to be felt and known

In darkness and in light, from herb and stone…’

‘He is a portion of the loveliness

Which once he made more lovely…’ 

From, ‘Adonais, An Elegy on the Death of John Keats’

by Percy Bysshe Shelley (written June 1821)

John Keats reading at his home in Hampstead, with a portrait of William Shakespeare watching o’er him…

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I happened upon an apple and it led to many things… #poem #autumn #apples #NewYork #remembrance

‘The russet, crab and cottage red
Burn to the sun’s hot brass
Then drop like sweat from every branch
And bubble in the grass…’

second verse of Apples by Laurie Lee

‘How sweet the flesh and blemished skin
Crisp crunch the ripened bite
A thirsty juice of crimson dew
Bulging beauties of delight…’

one verse of Apples by Kate Barnwell
(Written on an Apple Ipad)

Create your own luscious verse to celebrate the picking of ‘new season’ apples.

With respect and remembrance for those who passed away and for those who were badly scarred by attacks on September the 11th 2001 in New York (The Big Apple).

Whilst on the subject of firstly apples and then the tragedy of 9/11 further extraordinary connections and coincidences can be made.
That day the towers fell poet Robin Robertson was in France and had just completed his second book, the concluding poem of which was ‘Fall‘ (written after the German poet, Rilke’s work ‘Herbst‘ meaning Autumn). Rilke had composed his poem soon after arriving in Paris in 1902, on September 11th. Extraordinary!
The first verse of Robertson’s poem, read one month after the attack to an audience at New York University is below…

‘The leaves are falling, falling from the trees
in dying gardens far above us; as if their slow
free-fall was the sky declining.’

And finally…
Poet and Writer D.H.Lawrence was born on 11th September 1885 (130 years ago).
I have picked out this particularly appropriate last line from his poem ‘Piano

Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.’

Lots to think about today.

I Remember, I Remember #PhilipLarkin #Coventry

Philip Larkin was born in Coventry in 1922 and brought up there from 1927 to 1940, before leaving for Oxford University. He says it is where his childhood was ‘unspent.’ One day whilst travelling by train in January, 1954, the train pulled into Coventry; much to his surprise, all those early memories came flooding back. He penned this famous poem soon after. Amazing what trains and a single word can do…

I Remember, I Remember

Coming up England, by a different line
For once, early in the cold new year,
We stopped, and, watching men with number plates
Sprint down the platform to familiar gates
‘Why Coventry!’ I exclaimed, ‘I was born here.’

I leant full out, and squinnied for a sign
That this was still the town that had been ‘mine’…

Larkin died in 1985 and is to be immortalised with a memorial ledger stone in Poets Corner, Westminster Abbey; 2015 marking the 30th anniversary of his death.

Here’s the sign Coventryat the industrial grey station, with its low, grey cloud and its grey, gloomy atmosphere. The city is changing, growing and transforming itself with active investment. It is twinned with the German city Dresden; both cities were devastated during the Second World War.
Trains pass through southwards to London Euston, northwards to Birmingham.🚉