It has been a summer of weddings for me and each time we set off with the car packed up, freshly ironed outfits hung up in the back seat, watching sunny scenes roll past as we venture forth in all new green fields of England, I remember the words of The Whitsun Weddings.
As the western world turns a judgemental eye on the ‘beach bodies’ of the world, I’m reminded of this wonderful poem by Joyce Sutphen. Sadly I am not sunning myself on a beach here or abroad but I have been conscious of how much strain I’ve been putting my body under this year. I am conscious, mostly, because my body has been sending me gentle reminders that I am not superhuman – it need sleep and fruit and much more movement than it currently experiences on a weekly basis.
This poem has cropped up again and again in both my professional and personal lives, and every time it makes me stop and think and soak it all back up again.
This was one of the first poems I came across when I began working at The Reader, it was read during a group as part of my initial training, and it felt serendipitous.
Robert Frost is my home boy.
He was quite the handsome chap in his day and the words which he penned in his time never fall short of beautiful. The Bear is the perfect example of his tendency to the rural in landscape and the sardonic in undertone, but even on the face of things there are beautiful words and turns of phrase to delight.
My introduction to the glorious Maya Angelou came at the hand of my A Level English teacher who included individual hand picked poem in our leaving cards. I was quite surprised at just how perfect the poem in question was for me. It felt as though my teacher had pinned me down in literary verse, something she did for each individual in that class.
This poem is pinned to my fridge door.
I love James Joyce. Dubliners is probably the first collection of short stories I ever read in it’s entirety – perhaps the only one in fact. My dad passed on his battered copy of the book when I was maybe 12 or 13. From that first reading I studied Joyce’s Dubliners almost every year until I graduated in 2010.