My Little One

The smallest bee rallies against
My newly installed double glazed
Windows, thirsty for the pollen,
Wind and sun.
Aren’t we all, my little one.
Opening the sash, I let him free,
With pleasure, ease, watched him bounce
Into the breeze, carried across on summer drifts,
Soaring high, diving low,
The rest of his little, bouyant life,
I’ll never know.

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Nesbit Likes: The Clod and Pebble by William Blake

The Clod and Pebble, defined as “Contrary States of the Human Soul,” portrays two perspectives of love. One from the young, mouldable clod of clay who is selfless in love, kind and innocent. The other is from the hardened, old pebble, who believes love only exists in a selfish way.

It’s compact yet eloquent, with some of the best symbolism of the Romantics. It’s Friday night and it’s optimism in one corner, pessimism in the other.

— — —
“Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,

And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”

So sung a little Clod of Clay
Trodden with the cattle’s feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:

“Love seeketh only self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.”

Strong as Rocks

Nesbit –

I’ve read my fair share of poetry. I’d love to have started all over again. Firstly, to relive that first read, that first personal discovery to a great piece of writing. Secondly, there’s hundreds of poets I’ve explored and I know, because I didn’t write them down, I’ve forgotten. However some other poems and poets I’ve not only not forgotten but their work has been ingrained in my mind, for various reasons. Their works pop into my head often, multiple times a week, and I wanted to share some that might do the same for you. There’s quite a variety:-

  • Vultures by Chinua Achebe – it’s about love and how it exists universally, in good and bad people and animals. The imagery has stuck with me since I read it when I was much younger, and the Commandant is a person I’ll never forget.
  • Slough by John Betjeman – a poem about the dull town of Slough (which is just outside London, for those who didn’t know.) It was featured in the The Office television series (UK) and the meter is brilliant. It’s perhaps the most powerful opening verse to a poem I’ve read and epitomises Betjeman’s feelings for the town.
  • When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be – John Keats – a fear that I feel everyone has, deep inside, that we may never be able to finish what we started, or achieve what we hope to accomplish before our time is over. The opening image of the pen ‘glean[ing] [his] teeming brain’ has never left my head. Whenever I begin to write, I imagine this pen absorbing all my thoughts and ideas and spilling them out onto the paper (or keyboard/screen, etc.)
  • Today – Frank O’Hara (below) – I only picked up this poem recently and it’s already made it’s resonating home in my head. It’s about how anything can be poetic and anything can be the focus of poetry. It’s reminded me not to make light of anything. Nothing is boring – it’s the way you portray it in writing. And that final line is brilliant – they’re strong as rocks!
Today (1950)

Oh! kangaroos, sequins, chocolate sodas!
You really are beautiful! Pearls,
harmonicas, jujubes, aspirins! all
the stuff they've always talked about
                       
still makes a poem a surprise!
These things are with us every day
even on beachheads and biers. They
do have meaning. They're strong as rocks.

I hope you enjoy these poems - they have had great influence my writing.