Greensleeves

Featured Image -- 558Do you remember Greensleeves – or that was what I thought this song was called – its a Tudor Ballad, that we used to sing at school.

“Apparently, this song was said to be written by Henry VIII, but I hugely doubt that, and research says not too!¹”

I was so impressed with this account of the sources of the song, that I thought I’d pass it on – do click to read the original, as it has a video that you can play and listen to it – in case you’ve never heard it……

Taking a Walk Through History

Greensleevesis one of my most favourite historic folk songs ever.

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Remembering – August 1977

1_yarzheit

one of my postcards (see odds & sods)

A POEM
Remembering – August 1977
The Flute

she played the flute then

it cried for him

in a forest unknown

with someone’s big dog 

resting on her shoulder

The Desert

ignorant, 

she descended the canyon

wandered a day and a night 

alone

sleeping on a stone

emerging dusty and triumphant

and late for her flight

The Trucker

picked her up in the night

gave her money to get home

refusing her thanks

and taking nothing in return

The Beefeater Doll

bought in London

was never sent

she had lost his address

years later she regrets

her thoughtlessness

and remembers 

his act of kindness

in her newly fatherless world

IN BLACK & WHITE

my long forgotten

younger self

stares back at me

the dog at my shoulder

the flute in my hand

and I feel her spirit

come back to me

PS:  I WROTE THIS POEM ON 8 MARCH 2015 AFTER TALKING ABOUT THE DEATH OF MY FATHER TO A FRIEND – I FOUND THE OLD B/W PHOTOGRAPH MENTIONED JUST RECENTLY,  BUT FEEL ITS NOT FOR PUBLICATION JUST YET, SO YOU WILL HAVE TO IMAGINE IT!
 

Do not go gentle into that good night – Dylan Thomas finds himself the subject of a copyright battle in New York!

This bit comes under the heading of “How Ridiculous”

Dylan Thomas in a pose that reflects all the stereotypes assumed about him!

Dylan Thomas in a pose that reflects all the stereotypes assumed about him!

Its a convoluted story that I just watched on the news – some idiot claims he owns two photos of Dylan and Caitlin in their youth, that the Welsh Tourist Agency used in their promotion of the centenary of his birth in 2014.  (date of birth: 27 October 1914 in Swansea – date of death: 9 November 1953) 

Now, you would think that of all the entities that had a right to claim Dylan Thomas as their own, it would be the Welsh Government – but they are being sued for using these photographs as part of their promotional material for a New York walking tour round Dylan Thomas’s favourite haunts.

(You probably know that Dylan died in America, supposedly having drunk himself to death, but there were a number of very interesting programmes last year disputing this simplistic explanation.)

This bloke – I didn’t catch the name, (but I will add it later, or maybe I won’t, his name isn’t worthy of a place in this post) – apparently says he bought the copyright off the original owner, and is suing for millions.

I hope they throw the case out of court!  What a mean miserly person – trying to make money out of someone else’s well deserved fame!  And doesn’t he know that we’re broke – we can’t even afford to fund the NHS properly!

Dylan Thomas + Bob Dylan, who so admired him that he stole his name!

Dylan Thomas + Bob Dylan, who so admired him that he stole his name!

I’m not sure whether I caught something in an earlier bulletin, if so it was a subconscious decision to look at this poem, but just as I was choosing what I wanted to put up in a blog about one of Dylan’s most famous poems …..

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

……… the piece on the court case came on the tv!  I was thinking of a friend of mine, who writes, but seems not to have heard of this poem, and I was just going to send it to her by email, but then I thought, it would be nice to save the videos and  text on a blog, then I’d always know where to find it!

So first, you have the privilege of listening to the man himself reading his poem – his voice is mesmerising!

And this is the text of that poem, that when I first read it, sent shivers down my spine, and remains, to this day, one of my all time favourite poems.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

And here is a long but quite interesting, and boring in parts, lecture by Dr Andrew Barker, picking the poem apart and putting it together again – skip this if you want!
But do read this long and detailed biography that I found on PoetHunter.com, if you want to know more about the man.
http://www.poemhunter.com/dylan-thomas/biography/

Lies and more lies…

This is one of a series of postcards I designed and published around 1997 – its a scan of the printed card, as the original design was done so long ago and on another computer, that I don’t even know where the file is !

21_truth copyright

and these are a few lines I wrote today …… interpret them personally, politically, religiously – any way you choose ……

Oh, you lie to yourself

and to protect yourself

from your own lies

you lie to others

and you lie to me

*

some choose to believe you

some of them know the truth

but don’t dare to say 

so they lie to themselves

*

soon everyone is lying

but me

I tell you I know the truth

so you tell lies about me

*

you did wrong and you know it

but the truth is too hard

and you cannot admit  

to the lies you told about me

*

you need them to have faith in you

they need to believe in you

so –  to defend their faith

you send them out

to murder me

***

a special place

The last few lines of Robert Frost’s famous poem, and one of my all time favourites,  “The Road Not Taken” are :-

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — 

I took the one less traveled by, 

And that has made all the difference.

I should be showing a picture of a track in the forest here, but I don’t have one to fit – instead, this is one of my all time favourite places – at the southern end of the Brecon Beacons.

The road is just at the bottom edge of this picture, you park your car then take to the hills, crossing a river and follow a path that runs besides a tributary stream, full of small waterfalls. (This is said to be the start of the River Tawe, that runs into Swansea and then into the sea.)  Just under the ridge, that’s covered in snow in this picture, there is a lake.  Its stunning!  I’ve taken my swimming costume up there in summers past, and swum in it, with my dog!

As its not too far from me, I have the luxury of being able to come up here whenever I feel the need – for solitude – for contemplation – and sometimes, when there is no one around, to sing at the top of my voice!

In the summer months its a popular place for family picnics, as the river runs beside the road, and there are many pools to paddle in!

The Robert Frost poem – to be honest that came from the original version of this post, and isn’t all that relevant here, but I like it, so I’m leaving it up – smile.

I wrote a poem about this place many years ago, I’m not sure where it is, if I find it again, maybe I’ll put it up, but it ended something like this:-

“scatter my ashes by the rushing water

beneath magic Llyn y Fan Fach, so

I may travel past places loved

and along the river,

into the sea”