Tag Archives: Poems

Laurie Lee

A quiet Sunday after a busy week I decided to settle down with my favourite book, Poem For the Day. The Twitterworld is agog with people busting their guts trying to get tickets for the Edinburgh Festival or Olympics or even ‘Take That’ Concerts. I am browsing this book of 366 poems one for every day of the year including leap years. I keep it near my computer and when I feel like a break from the screen or just when my fancy takes me to dip into a poem, I grab the book and read and re-read the same poem. The wonderful thing about this book is that each poem is placed on a day of significance – either the poet’s birth or death day or another relevant date – and is complemented by a footnote full of amusing anecdotes and interesting facts to expand on the poem and the poet’s life.June 26th has ‘Home From Abroad’ a poem by Laurie Lee. He was born on this day in 1914.I am familiar with his world famous novel ‘Cider with Rosie’ but not of his poems. This is what I love about this book. I get to read poems and anecdotes of poets I’ve not come across before. In the footnote it mentions that at age 19 Laurie left Kent and walked to London and worked as a labourer. His travels through Spain is recounted in his later novels.

This poem begins with the verse

“Far-fetched with tales of other worlds and ways,
My skin well-oiled with wines of the Levant,
I set my face into filial smile
To greet the pale, domestic kiss of Kent.”

Most of us can relate to his feeling of yearning for home, so beautifully expressed. In 1936 he wrote ” June came in full blast, with the heat bouncing off the sea as from a buckled sheet of tin”.
Of course that has happened in Glasgow. I look out at the grey skies and laugh at the image of “heat bouncing off the sea”. I think that reading words in verse the best way of relaxing on a quiet afternoon.
I also noticed that there is a Book Two of the same ‘Poem for the Day’. Another book to buy, read and treasure.A poem a day what more could one ask for?

e books audio versions ?

Fellow writer friends are going for ebook version of their book and one dear friend has also got an audio version of his. What should a technophobe like me do? I love new technology and gaze in wonder at all the dizzying heights of progress but can only hack a small amount with any sense of understanding.
Shoulder still in agony xray results in 7-10 days.May have inherited my mum’s oesteo arthritis.No cure then, grin and bear it as I hate taking Ibuprofen even now.
Scribbled a lovely poem at dawn but can’t read my own writing now!Need to work on it maybe after lunch.My garden now a poetry of nature, blooming in all hues.


My Writers Club had our annual poetry competition adjudicated last evening. I had not put in an entry, so it was good just to listen to other people’s work and the comments from the adjudicator.She had brought her own poetry pamphlets for us to see and quoted from ‘Ode Less Travelled’ by Stephen Fry, a great book that is a must for aspiring poets. This is so timeous, as I’m off to the Stanza poetry Festival at St. Andrews tomorrow and will hear wonderful poets and lectures on Lord Byron and other great poets. The Lit scene is so rich here. Aren’t we lucky to live in these times when words on a page can transport us away from the credit crunch and other real problems?

Here is a sentimental poem of mine, a shortened version :
Glasgow my adopted city,
Rainy, boggy, soggy.
The dear green place, minty
Sweet, the pubs make me groggy.

Glasgow my city, my home
Rained on, freshened, moist blue.
Victorian blonde sandstone, shiny new
Welcomes all with warmth so true.

Sorry to inflict my poem on you but I love the simple emotion that my city evokes in me.