A Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky ~ Lewis Carroll (poetry collaboration with Mark Mayes)

A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear

Long has paled that sunny sky;
Echoes fade and memories die;
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die;

Ever drifting down the stream
Lingering in the golden gleam
Life, what is it but a dream?

Image: Elia Pellegrini


A few weeks ago one of my lovely WP photography pals feralc4t suggested I should try reading a Lewis Carroll poem.  It’s not often I take a suggestion and create something this quickly, as a lot of what I post here is planned months in advance.  I found Lewis Carroll’s poetry fascinating, but was concerned I wouldn’t be able to read most of his poems without tripping up over words or just finding it all too funny – especially the Jabberwocky!

I had a good read of Lewis Carroll’s poetry and was surprised when I came across this elegant melancholy poem with a mention of Alice.  At the time of discovering this poem I’d not read Alice Through The Looking Glass, I didn’t know the poem was included in the book.  It’s an acrostic poem spelling out Alice Pleasance Liddell .  You can read more about it on worlddreambank.org

I initially intended reading it myself, but then thought of an idea to make a unique spoken word version.  I asked my talented SoundCloud friend Mark Mayes if he would be interested in a collaboration with me.  I was thrilled when he said yes. I thought his wonderful rich voice would be an ideal contrast to mine.  The arrangement in our version is a suggestion that Alice is lingering in the background as a ghostly memory.  It was a bit of challenge to produce, but I was pleased with the result.

Mark has studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art  and worked in both theatre and television.  I had a great interest in theatre myself in my late teens and participated in amateur drama for over four years.  I haven’t done anything remotely like this since that time.  It’s been wonderful to create this little spoken word drama with Mark.

41wYUC6FHHLThe Right Wrong Man
Pamela S Wight

32 thoughts on “A Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky ~ Lewis Carroll (poetry collaboration with Mark Mayes)

    1. I guess they often do Marcelo, dreams do indeed… And I will have to be happy now that you’ve said that! 😀 Thanks so much for listening my talented friend!!

    1. Hello my friend!! I just logged in to visit your blog, and there you were Brenda.. what a lovely surprise!! 😀 And thank you so much! Haha.. yes sweet ghost, not my usual voice is it?!! It’s not got much of me in there at all, but I think it works best like that – as if she’s lingering in the background as the haunting memory of beautiful younger days and summer days.

      I’m really looking forward to Mark’s novel coming out in February, and have recently heard he’s hoping to move to Norwich to study a creative writing course at the University Of East Anglia – so thrilled about that, and I’m sure he will love Norwich, it’s a very literary and musical city – all the things that are so Mark. As long as everything goes to plan, we will get to meet some time next year. Would never have guessed all that would happen since July!

      Sorry I’ve been a bit absent on WP Brenda! Been doing some tweeting most days and The Writing Garden magazine, and that’s about it really. Been a little overwhelmed with other things in life. Will be posting soon, and then will take a lengthy break – got some serious decorating to do in my home – oh I hate upheavals! I’d love to just move out for a few hours and have one of those home makeover tv shows visit, transform the place, then I can walk back in awestruck at the transformation… haha, if only!! 😀

      1. Decorating is hard to live through but so rewarding. I’ve seen your retweets, and they are appreciated! I need to do more with twitter, but I am full out trying to make the holidays fun for my kids. 🙂

        1. Making fun for your kids is far more important than Twitter! All these social media pages can be very time consuming. I’ve recently got myself back on Facebook, mainly for ease of contact because of the magazine. But got a bit more involved than I intended. Made some lovely new and very talented friends on there, makes it a happier place than it was for me before. But oh… I need to pull back a bit now. Need to live a bit more real life, not through a screen! 🙂

    1. Thank you lovely lady! 😀 So pleased to hear you tuned into Mark’s music. Yes, I really like Dandelion Clocks, I find his songs very relaxing to listen too. He has great talent in the music and his writing. I’m sure he will be thrilled to know you enjoyed his music. Thank you, so kind of you my dear, I shall let him know!!

  1. This made me miss summer!!! It’s early early October, and now summer seems like a dream. I’ve always loved this Carroll poem, and how the poet uses Alice’s name to start each line. Your collaborative endeavor is haunting and lovely.
    And on a separate note, thank you for including my book THE RIGHT WRONG MAN and its link on this page!!! xo

    1. Oh, I miss it too! I do love autumn, but something about summer (as long as it’s not too hot) that’s so enjoyable. And yes, it always does feel like that every year, summer dreaming! Thank you so much for the compliment Pamela!! 😀

      You’re very welcome on the book link, it’s a pleasure to include books on here. Makes the place a bit more interesting, to the passing reader!

    1. Thank you Geo!! 🙂 Yes, this is a little haunting indeed! Ageing is the hardest thing, watching it, or being in the flow of it. Have to find ways of thinking different, otherwise we sink a little to deep in the wrong places.

    1. Thank you so much dear Karen!! 🙂 It was great fun to do, and a learning curve in sound editing. Hoping to do another one with Mark later in the year. Voice collaborations are such a good idea, can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get around to creating one!

  2. Incredible collaboration, Suzy. The intonations and distance of your voice contrast well with Mark’s voice. I read the poem first then listened to your reading. Amazing how the meaning/interpretation changes by listening to you. Quite an experience. Thank you.

    1. Thank you very much, that’s good to hear it had that effect!! 🙂 It is interesting how much a poem can be altered by it’s reading even without changing any words at all. Even sound effects and music can create a different feel.

      I’d love to be able to know what Lewis Carroll might think of our interpretation of his poem. I feel this poem is quite a personal one for him, unlike a lot of his humorous other writings.

  3. A nice and creative idea to collaborate together. Mark has charming voice and I am listening him singing now. I like how you arrange your voice to be somewhat in the background coming in and slightly fades away. Great work!

    1. He has indeed a charming voice, in speaking and in song, I was was so pleased to find him, and then he found me on SoundCloud. Once you get into SoundCloud, there’s so much talent on there…I could quite easily get lost forever in that world and never need tv or radio ever again!! 😀
      Thank you so much, very pleased you like the arrangement!

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