National Poetry Day

The truly lovely Sara over at Nothing but Words with Wine, who I have not chatted to in ages, or read her words… go, do, I will be catching up this weekend as she has a huge heart and is a word-smith extraordinaire, has tagged me to share my favourite poem.

Now first I would like to highlight that yesterday I called it World Poetry Day, not National Poetry day, and the day we are celebrating in question was yesterday, so I am late in joining in. Though if you know me, I am often late, as children and life get in the way of my punctuality, not an excuse as I truly detest this trait of mine, and endeavour to improve it.

Another factor to my tardiness is the choice of one poem, just one? But I love poetry. I love the ability to throw form out of the window, the ability to be surreal to paint a picture or weave a story in an alternative way to prose.

At school, my essay and story writing was slated, but my poetry writing was championed. I could throw words onto a page and my teacher, who wasn’t a great fan of me, would light up and say “See Sunniva, you do know how to write, I want to see this level of creation in all aspects of your writing.” Those were the days…

We often had to write book or poetry reviews, and I remember distinctly being tasked to compare and contrast Segfried Sassoon and Walt Whitman poems with other war poetry. Not wanting to upset anyone, but even the memory of these to poets sends shivers up my skin. I hated this task. I argued debated with my English Teacher (Mrs Pat O’Brien) that love poetry was far more interesting and important to literature, I was a passionate wee thing and I hated war poetry, I just didn’t get it. Eventually, more than likely to get me to stop talking, she let me write my report on love poetry.

So to one of my favourite poems, found for this report; it is written by William Butler YeatsAedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven. Written from the perspective of someone poor in pennies but rich, as they feel love. The likening of love to beauty objects, then of sharing these precious this things, shows the reader the esteem he holds for the feeling of love. He says he gives his love freely but asks to be treated with care; as in this, like in life, if you give your heart to someone and it is taken but then stomped all over, the pain is physical.

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

William Butler Yeats

Poems that made it to the top of this list included “It Couldn’t be done” by Edgar Guest “If” by Rudyard Kipling and “Love’s Philosophy” by P B Shelley.. each could have made the top slot on a different day.

Featured image from here
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