Spotlight Poetry – The Poppies – A poem by Richard Church

The image shows a close up painting of a small group of scarlet poppies painted by the artist Elena Starostina. The work supports a poem entitled The Poppies by the poet Richard Church.
© Elena Starostina, Poppies, 2017

The Poppies by Richard Church

Like lips behind a veil
The poppies rest under the oats
Lips parting in sleep,
As though night were hot about them,
Touching the souls they speak for with sensual fires;
These lips not petals.

But here it is summer morning,
Cool after the pride-shower;
The smoke goes up in prayer from the village,
And the hills are monks stooping under a hood of mist.
This surely is a virgin moment.

Then what is this fantasy of the poppies?

Poem Attribution © Richard Church, The Poppies

Source Attribution Favourite Flower Poems, National Trust Books

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Painting Attribution © Elena Starostina, Poppies, 2017

Source Attribution https://www.saatchiart.com/print/Painting-Poppy-flower/1399307/7005231/view

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Spotlight Poetry – Composed upon Westminster Bridge – A poem by William Wordsworth

The image is a semi-abstract painting of Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament in London by the artist Colin Ruffell. The composition is imbued with subtle softly lit hues of gold and purple and supports William Wordsworth's poem
Composed upon Westminster Bridge.

Composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth

Earth has not any thing to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by

A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie

Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;

Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Poem Attribution © William Wordsworth, Composed upon Westminster Bridge

Source Attribution https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45514/composed-upon-westminster-bridge-september-3-1802

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Painting Attribution © Colin Ruffell, Westminster Bridge, (Date Unstated)

Source Attribution https://www.icanvas.com/canvas-print/westminster-bridge-cru90#1PC6-26×18

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Spotlight Poetry – Hurrahing in Harvest – A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The image is a painting of a cornfield at harvest time by the artist Zlatko Horvat. Stooks of corn stand waiting to be collected. In the background there is a hedge of trees behind which stands the white farmhouse and another building. In the distance gentle rolling hills rise beneath a blue and clouded sky. The painting supports the poem  Hurrahing in Harvest by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
© Zlatko Horvat, Harvest Time, (Date Unstated)

Hurrahing in Harvest by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise
     Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour

     Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-waiver
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across the skies?

I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
     Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;

     And, eyes, heart, what looks, what lips yet gave you a
Rapturous love’s greeting of realer, of rounder replies?

And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder
     Majestic – as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet! –

These things, these things were here and but the beholder
     Wanting; which two when they once meet,
The heart rears wings bold and bolder
     And hurls for him, O half hurls earth for him off under his feet.

Poem Attribution © Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hurrahing in Harvest

Source Attribution https://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/Classic%20Poems/Hopkins/hurrahing_in_harvest.htm

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Painting Attribution © Zlatko Horvat, Harvest Time, (Date Unstated)

Source Attribution https://www.arteet.com/painting/harvest-time-921891

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Spotlight Poetry – Blackberry-Picking – A poem by Seamus Heaney

A painting which has a bright autumn sky with white clouds. In the background a rolling hill rises with meadows. In the foreground wild blackberries grow and tumble into a yellow field.
© Diane Demirci, Blackberry Harvest 1, 2013

Blackberry-Picking by Seamus Heaney

for Philip Hobsbaum

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.

At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it

Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.

Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full,
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned

Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s.

We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,

A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair

That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not.

Poem Attribution © Seamus Heaney, Blackberry-Picking

Source Attribution https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/50981/blackberry-picking

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Painting Attribution © Diane Demirci, Blackberry Harvest 1, 2013

Source Attribution https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Blackberry-Harvest-1/828752/2695819/view

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Spotlight Poetry – The House of Dust: Part 03: 13: The Half-Shut Doors Through Which We Heard That Music – A poem by Conrad Aiken

© Mahmoud Badarny, Dream, 2016

The House of Dust: Part 03: 13: The Half-Shut Doors Through Which We Heard That Music by Conrad Aiken

The half-shut doors through which we heard that music
Are softly closed.  Horns mutter down to silence.

The stars whirl out, the night grows deep.
Darkness settles upon us.  A vague refrain
Drowsily teases at the drowsy brain.
In numberless rooms we stretch ourselves and sleep.

 
Where have we been?  What savage chaos of music
Whirls in our dreams?—We suddenly rise in darkness,
Open our eyes, cry out, and sleep once more.
We dream we are numberless sea-waves languidly foaming

A warm white moonlit shore;

 
Or clouds blown windily over a sky at midnight,
Or chords of music scattered in hurrying darkness,

Or a singing sound of rain . . .
We open our eyes and stare at the coiling darkness,
And enter our dreams again.

Poem Attribution © Conrad Aiken, The House of Dust: Part 03: 13: The Half-Shut Doors Through Which We Heard That Music

Source Attribution https://www.poeticous.com/conrad-potter-aiken/the-house-of-dust-part-03-13-the-half-shut-doors-through-which-we-heard-that-music

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Painting Attribution © Mahmoud Badarny, Dream, 2016

Source Attribution https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Dream-Abstract-painting-by-Mahmoud-Badarny/1667568/7934084/view

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Spotlight Poetry – ‘Jasmine’ – [Excerpt from Lalla Rookh] – A poem by Thomas Moore

© Amanda Clark, Midnight, (Date Unstated)

Jasmine [Excerpt from Lalla Rookh] by Thomas Moore

‘Twas midnight – through the lattice, wreath’d
With woodbine, many a perfume breath’d

From plants that wake when others sleep,
From timid jasmine buds, that keep
Their odour to themselves all day,
But, when the sun-light dies away,

Let the delicious secret out
To every breeze that roams about.

Poem Attribution © Thomas Moore, ‘Jasmine’ [Excerpt from Lalla Rookh

Source Attribution Favourite Flower Poems National Trust Books

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Painting Attribution © Amanda Clark, Midnight, (Date Unstated)

Source Attribution https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/401805598010649205/

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Spotlight Poetry – Triolet – A poem by G. K. Chesterton

© Amy Cicconi, Jellyfish, 2017

Triolet by G. K. Chesterton

I wish I were a jelly fish
That cannot fall downstairs:

Of all the things I wish to wish
I wish I were a jelly fish
That hasn’t any cares,
And doesn’t even have to wish

‘I wish I were a jelly fish
That cannot fall downstairs.’

Poem Attribution © G. K. Chesterton, Triolet

Source Attribution https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/triolet-7

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Painting Attribution © Amy Cicconi, Jellyfish, 2017

Source Attribution https://fineartamerica.com/featured/30-abstract-jellyfish-amy-cicconi.html

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Spotlight Poetry – I’d Love To Be A Fairy’s Child – A poem by Robert Graves

© Sook-hee Lee, Like Little Children in the Fairy Tale, 2012

I’d Love To Be A Fairy’s Child by Robert Graves

Children born of fairy stock
Never need for shirt or frock,

Never want for food or fire,
Always get their heart’s desire:
Jingle pockets full of gold,
Marry when they’re seven years old.

Every fairy child may keep
Two strong ponies and ten sheep;
All have houses, each his own,
Built of brick or granite stone;

They live on cherries, they run wild –
I’d love to be a Fairy’s child.

Poem Attribution © Robert Graves, I’d Love To Be A Fairy’s Child

Source Attribution https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/id-love-to-be-a-fairys-child-by-robert-graves

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Painting Attribution © Sook-hee Lee, Like Little Children in the Fairy Tale, 2012

Source Attribution https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-like-little-children-in-the-fairy-tale/725654/2576545/view

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Spotlight Poetry – In Commendation of Music – A poem by William Strode

© Dato Badzagua, Musical Landscape, 2015

In Commendation of Music by William Strode

When whispering strains do softly steal
With creeping passion through the heart

And when at every touch we feel
Our pulses beat and bear a part;
When threads can make
A heartstring shake

Philosophy
Can scarce deny
The soul consists of harmony.

When unto heavenly joy we feign
Whate’er the soul affecteth most,

Which only thus we can explain
By music of the winged host,
Whose lays we think
Make stars to wink,

Philosophy
Can scarce deny
Our souls consist of harmony.

O lull me, lull me, charming air,
My senses rock with wonder sweet;

Like snow on wool thy fallings are,
Soft, like a spirit’s, are thy feet:
Grief who need fear
That hath an ear?

Down let him lie
And slumbring die,
And change his soul for harmony

Poem Attribution © William Strode, In Commendation of Music

Source Attribution https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/commendation-music

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Painting Attribution © Dato Badzagua, Musical Landscape, 2015

Source Attribution https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Musical-Landscape/837067/2746806/view

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Spotlight Poetry – Flowers – A poem by W. H. Davies

© Loretta D Luglio, Summer Garden, 2014

Flowers by W. H. Davies

What favourite flowers are mind, I cannot say –
My fancy changes with the summer’s day.

Sometimes I think, agreeing with the Bees,
That my best flowers are those tall apple trees,
Who give a Bee his cider while in bloom,
And keep me waiting till their apples come.

Sometimes I think the Columbine has won,
Who hangs her head and never looks the Sun
Straight in the face. And now the Golden Rod
Beckons me over with a graceful nod;

Shaped like a sheaf of corn, her ruddy skin
Drinks the sun dry, and leaves his splendour thin.
Sometimes I think the Rose must have her place –
And then the Lily shakes her golden dice

Deep in a silver cup, to win or lose.
So I go on, from Columbine to Rose,
From Marigold to Flock, from Flock to Thrift –
Till nothing but my garden stones are left.

But when I see the dimples in her face,
All filled with tender moss in every place –
Ah, then I think, when all is said and done,
My favourite flower must be the Mossy Stone!

Poem Attribution © W. H. Davies, Flowers

Source Attribution Favourite Flower Poems, National Trust (Books)

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Painting Attribution © Loretta D Luglio, Summer Garden, 2014

Source Attribution https://artist.com/loretta-luglio/summer-garden/?artid=1222

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