I Ask My Mother To Sing (Li-Young Lee)

She begins, and my grandmother joins her.
Mother and daughter sing like young girls.
If my father were alive, he would play
his accordion and sway like a boat.
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I’ve never been in Peking, or the Summer Palace,
nor stood on the great Stone Boat to watch
the rain begin on Kuen Ming Lake, the picnickers
running away in the grass.
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But I love to hear it sung;
how the waterlilies fill with rain until
they overturn, spilling water into water,
then rock back, and fill with more.
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Both women have begun to cry.
But neither stops her song.
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Li-Young Lee
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I’ve been reading the poetry of Li-Young Lee recently.  There is something truly beautiful about his writing.  Even though Li-Young Lee is a well known poet in America, I’ve not heard of his name or writing before.  While reading his poetry it spoke to me of an experienced poet, one who considers carefully about what he wants to convey in a deeply literary sense, but still manages to create poems anyone can relate to.  He writes a lot of his childhood and family which is a subject I’m often drawn to write about myself.
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After reading I Ask My Mother To Sing it reminded me of the water lily I captured in Plantation Garden, Norwich… I thought they would go well together.  I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I did.
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If you would like to read more of Li-Young Lee’s poetry you can find a selection at the Poetry Foundation.
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While looking up who this wonderful poet was I found an old video on You Tube where he reads some of his poems and talks a little about the background of his family and where he was born in Indonesia.

If you enjoyed this video you may also like this one too, where he reads another selection of his poetry at a public event at The University Of California.  If you’ve not heard of Li-Young Lee, the introductory is well worth a listen.

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Legacy

WORDS IN THE LIGHT

You were ready to walk
through the Night with me
but you died on a Winter day
and left me Spring as a legacy.

Flowers and words in blue,
words and flowers from you:
now what is yours is mine
and what is mine is yours.

Mummy,
Love is not missing.
Thank you for
the Blessing.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

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The Dangling Conversation ~ Simon & Garfunkel

Some time ago my SoundCloud friend Mark introduced me to The Dangling Conversation.  I thought I knew pretty much all of Simon and Garfunkel’s well known songs… but I was so wrong, I’d never heard this one.

I absolutely loved it and found myself drawn to listen to this delightful song again and again.  One day while listening, I suddenly realised it might make an interesting poem for one of my spoken word creations.  And here it is… with a simple video included.  I also uploaded a version to my SoundCloud page.

I find it very interesting to speak poetry that isn’t mine.  It helps form a different pattern in my mind on how to speak and how to write poems.  We all have patterns that are part of how we think, which is perfectly natural, but it’s good to introduce something different now and then.  It helps reduce limitations and expands the writer on the inside.

After I recorded my version of The Dangling Conversation I did some more research on the song and found a 1968 black and white film of a High School teacher reading the lyrics in the process of teaching her class poetry.  I thought it was absolutely wonderful to see that.

I read in the video comments below from someone who was a pupil at that school during the time of the filming, they said the teacher was called Ms London.

I love the way she saw those lyrics as pure poetry and not just a song… such a cool teacher!

The Dangling Conversation is from Simon and Garfunkels Parsely, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme album.  If you’ve not heard it yet please take a listen, it’s a beautiful album.

Blue ~ Poetry Video

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Captur-00Recently I was asked by a writer friend on WattPad (also Mia Lotus on You Tube) if I’d like to be one of the poets for a charitable project website of hers (Songs For The Sea) to encourage and inspire us all to care more about the ocean. I wrote two ocean related poems and also decided to create a poetry video.  My lovely artist friend Karen Gadient created some beautiful ‘blue’ abstract art to go with the poem

Most of my videos on my You Tube page that are not my own film are free creative commons footage, but on this occasion I decided to purchase some pieces of short film from Shutterstock.  They have an amazing collection of film footage on Shutterstock, but it’s probably not something I’ll be spending much money on with future videos as it’s quite costly.

The point of my poetry video is to show how misguided it is to spend so much time and money on space projects in the hope of finding life when there is an abundance of life in the ocean, some of which has barely been explored. 

The ocean is a world within our world and is so crucial to the functioning of the planet we live on.  Space on the other hand, fascinating it may be, but I don’t feel it’s as relevant as the sea or important enough to be spending vast sums of public money in exploration that doesn’t appear to result in much at all. The sea these days seems to be turning into a convenient dumping ground – that’s just so wrong.  I wonder if another habitable planet was ever found, humans would just go and dump their garbage there too?

You can find more poets writing on (Songs For The Sea) under the poetry category and also a collection of talented singers and musicians. In January 2017 there will be a CD music compilation of all the singers and musicians listed. 

Also at some point an ebook of poetry will be published.  Both of those items will be sold in aid of charity.  If it interests you, then make sure to bookmark the website for future visits.

Please enjoy the video – it’s a bit of chill out poetry experience! 🙂

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The Writing Garden - Literary Magazine

Have you seen The Writing Garden yet? 
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If you enjoy poetry, spoken word, photography and art, you may enjoy this literary magazine.  One new issue every two months packed with some beautiful talent.

Dulce Et Decorum Est ~ Read by Christopher Eccleston

Dulce et Decorum est” is a poem written by Wilfred Owen during World War I, and published posthumously in 1920. The Latin title is taken from the Roman poet Horace and means “it is sweet and honorable…”, followed by pro patria mori, which means “to die for one’s country”. Owen’s poem is known for its horrific imagery and condemnation of war.
Wikipedia

I came across this poem a few days ago, and thought it was a powerful statement of the reality of war.  Dulce et Decorum est is just one of a collection of poetry readings remembering World War 1 (Channel 4 2013).  You can watch the other videos of those poems on this You Tube channel.

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Wasting My Young Years ~ London Grammar

London Grammar is one of those new bands I accidentally discovered recently on one of my You Tube trips!  I love Hannah Reid’s haunting voice, and I’m looking forward to see what they come up with next.  Here’s a live version of this song.  If you want to hear more of their music visit their You Tube or SoundCloud page, also Wikipedia or their website. .

Where The Wild Roses Grow

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