Poem of the week – Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson

playgroundThis is another poem that I enjoyed as a child. It brings back the injustice of having to go to bed while everyone else is still having fun!

Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson

In winter I get up at night

And dress by yellow candle-light.

In summer, quite the other way,

I have to go to bed by day.

 

I have to go to bed and see

The birds still hopping on the tree,

Or hear the grown-up people’s feet

Still going past me in the street.

 

And does it not seem hard to you,

When all the sky is clear and blue,

And I should like so much to play,

To have to go to bed by day?

Poem of the Week – The Sea Spirit by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Better known as the writer of the Anne series, starting with Anne of Green Gables,  I love this poem by L.M. Montgomery.

water-282784_640The Sea Spirit by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lo! the sea is fair,
Smooth as the flow of a maiden’s hair;
And the welkin’s light shines through
Into mid-sea caverns of beryl hue,
And the little waves laugh and the mermaids sing,
And the sea is a beautiful, sinuous thing!

I scowl in sullen guise­
The sea grows dark and dun,
The swift clouds hide the sun
But not the bale-light in my eyes,
And the frightened wind as it flies
Ruffles the billows with stormy wing,
And the sea is a terrible, treacherous thing!

When moonlight glimmers dim
I pass in the path of the mist,
Like a pale spirit by spirits kissed.
At dawn I chant my own weird hymn,
And I dabble my hair in the sunset’s rim,
And I call to the dwellers along the shore
With a voice of gramarye evermore.

And if one for love of me
Gives to my call an ear,
I will woo him and hold him dear,
And teach him the way of the sea,
And my glamor shall ever over him be;
Though he wander afar in the cities of men
He will come at last to my arms again.

Poem of the Week – An August Midnight by Thomas Hardy

full-moon-319931_640An August Midnight by Thomas Hardy

A shaded lamp and a waving blind,
And the beat of a clock from a distant floor:
On this scene enter–winged, horned, and spined –
A longlegs, a moth, and a dumbledore;
While ‘mid my page there idly stands
A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands . . .

II

Thus meet we five, in this still place,
At this point of time, at this point in space.
– My guests parade my new-penned ink,
Or bang at the lamp-glass, whirl, and sink.
“God’s humblest, they!” I muse. Yet why?
They know Earth-secrets that know not I.

Poem of the Week – Daddy Fell into the Pond by Alfred Noyes

I loved this poem when I was a child. It would make me giggle every single time it was read to me. In fact I could quote it word for word to my friends.

Garden pondDaddy Fell into the Pond by Alfred Noyes

Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.

We had nothing to do and nothing to say.

We were nearing the end of a dismal day,

And there seemed to be nothing beyond,

THEN

Daddy fell into the pond!

 

And everyone’s face grew merry and bright,

And Timothy danced for sheer delight.

“Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!

He’s crawling out of the duckweed.”

Click!

 

Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,

And doubled up, shaking silently,

And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft

And it sounded as if the old drake laughed.

O, there wasn’t a thing that didn’t respond

WHEN

Daddy fell into the pond!

Poem of the Week – Summer Shower by Emily Dickinson

Summer rainSummer Shower by Emily Dickinson

A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!

The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.

The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.

Man Booker Longlist Announced Today

h_logo_official_largeThe longlist, or ‘Man Booker Dozen’, for the Man Booker Prize has been announced today, Wednesday 29 July 2015.

This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges chaired by Michael Wood, and also comprising Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, John Burnside, Sam Leith and Frances Osborne. The judges considered 156 books for this year’s prize.

This is the second year that the prize, first awarded in 1969, has been open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK.  Previously, the prize was open only to authors from the UK & Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe.

The 2015 longlist of 13 novels, is:

Bill Clegg – Did You Ever Have a Family (Jonathan Cape)            

Anne Enright – The Green Road (Jonathan Cape)

Marlon James – A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld Publications)

Laila Lalami – The Moor’s Account (Periscope, Garnet Publishing)

Tom McCarthy – Satin Island (Jonathan Cape)

Chigozie Obioma – The Fishermen (ONE, Pushkin Press)

Andrew O’Hagan – The Illuminations (Faber & Faber)

Marilynne Robinson – Lila (Virago)            

Anuradha Roy – Sleeping on Jupiter (MacLehose Press, Quercus)

Sunjeev Sahota – The Year of the Runaways (Picador)

Anna Smaill – The Chimes (Sceptre)

Anne Tyler – A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus)

Hanya Yanagihara – A Little Life (Picador)

 

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 15 September at a press conference at the London offices of Man Group, the prize’s sponsor.

The 2015 winner will then be announced on Tuesday 13 October in London’s Guildhall at a black-tie dinner that brings together the shortlisted authors and well-known figures from the literary world. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC and the lucky winner will leave with a cheque for £50,000.

 

 

Poem of the Week – Summer Sun by Robert Louis Stevenson

Summer sunI thought we would continue the summer theme with our poems – and probably will until the end of the summer holidays. I love summer, and there is so much lovely poetry to celebrate it.

Summer Sun
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.