Friday, 11 July 2008

Rhyme Time.

This blog prompt business is really cool, its getting me back into the habit of blogging more regularly anyway. Today's blog prompt from the "My Freedom" class is:

Have you ever been inspired by the words of a poem? Share the poem with your blog readers and tell them how you came to value its words.

I'm not a massive poetry fan, it has to be said. So I found it quite strange that two things actually popped into me head for this straight away. The first is my very favourite poem (if I had to pick one), which I think was also voted the Nation's favourite poem, and it's Rudyard Kipling's "IF".


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,'
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

I'm not sure what it is that I like about this poem. It particularly reminds me of hearing tales about Wimbledom from my Great Uncle Alb when I was little. He was a grounds keeper at the tennis club and as well as keeping us in a supply of used tennis balls, he span a great yarn about all the goings on at the club. He always used to tell us about how there's a line from this poem across the entrance to centre court:

"If you can meet with trimuph and disaster,
and treat those two imposters just the same".

Which I always thought was a fantastic ethos for any sporting establishment! (probably because I was never very good at any of them ;)).

The other poem which came to mind is a completely random one from an old poetry book that Mrs Marmadaisy and I once memorised, for no other reason than we thought it would be a laugh. I think we fancied ourselves as the intellectual type back then ;) I'm sure she's reading this and cringing, but I'd also put money on the fact that she can recite what I'm about to type without reading it....

Fair, sweet and young, receive a prize
reserved for your victorious eyes
From crowds whom at your feet you see
Oh pity and distinguish me,
as I from thousand beauties more
distinguish you and only you adore

Your face for conquest was designed
your every motion charms my mind
Angels when you, your silence break
Forget their hymns to hear you speak
and when at once they hear and view
are loth to mount and long to be with you

No graces can your form improve
but all are lost unless you love
whilst that sweet passion you distain
your veil and beauty are in vain
In pity then, prevent my fate
For after dying, all reprieve's too late

Sorry. I have no idea who the author is. I should probably Google it!

I know the punctuation on that is terrible, and I've probably got a couple of words wrong (Anna?? Word check??) but I typed it from memory and it has been in my head for about 17 years, and I've had two lots of nappy brain since then so it's a miracle I can remember any of it!

So, from poetry, to dancing.... hey, we're all about the culture around here today.

Our first Salsa class was last night. Totally FAB! I loved it. Kendo wasn't quite so enthusiastic, but he did throw himself into it and said that 8.30 came round pretty quickly so he can't have been that bored or it would have dragged. It's easier for me because I'm quite musical, so finding the beat is less of a problem. Kendo has never professed to being anything less than tone deaf, so it's a little hard for him to catch the beat, but he's getting better. We got some practice in with the basic steps at home last night and I think if we keep it up we'll only get better for next week (and we are going back next week). The only slightly scary thing is that you have to dance with other people! Eek! I kind of didn't want to do that, because I'm going to learn to dance with my husband, but I can see their logic behind it. It's important to learn to be lead by other people (for me) and to lead other people (for Kendo) so you don't just fall into bad habits. Watch this space for more Salsa updates next Thursday.



April said...

OOh i like thise idea - I will be posting some poetry later...

April xx

April said...

Hi, I have now posted on my fave poems!

April xx

Unknown said...

Like your choice of poem.

Rach said...

I want to see Salsa dancing pictures!!!!

Mrs Moog said...

I love poetry but have never been able to memorise anything other than Spike Milligan!!! So uncultured, me!

Glad the salsa dancing went well - I'll look forward to next week's update :)


kim said...

I'm thinking that I need to talk DH into some dancing class with me--although we'll be just the reverse--I have no rhythm and he thinks he's Michael Jackson :)

April said...

Hi Marie

Just wanted to let you know that I've left you an award on my blog!

April xx

Sal said...

'If' reduced me to tears when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal read it, before the men's singles final!
It is such a fantastic poem.

Amanda Jones said...

Love the poems, and your comment about Prince on my blog made me cry with laughter! Lithe - seriously, that's the word I've been searching for for years!

Amanda x

Marmadaisy said...

That poem is by John Dryden c.1700 from the Broadway Book of English Verse 1947. I just got the book down, and it still has the paper marking that page, from 16 years ago!

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