Bedtime Poems #1

I recently realised that my blog wasn’t paying enough attention to poetry and to offset this I started commenting more about poetry on twitter. I started posting a quote from a poem that I had been enjoying, and as it is usually before bedtime that I’ll browse through one of my poetry books, I gave my tweets a #bedtimepoem hashtag. It’s refreshing to get short espresso hits of verse before bedtime. Decaff espresso though, of course.

Here are my #bedtimepoem picks so far:

14th of May – ‘The Wild Geese’ by Violet Jacob.

“And far abune the Angus straths I saw the wild geese flee,
A lang, lang skein o’ beatin’ wings wi’ their heids towards the sea”

I love the image that Violet Jacob creates in ‘The Wild Geese’, when I read it I can really visualise what she is describing. And the language is lovely too!

Read the full poem here.

16th of May – ‘Everything is More’ by Gillian K. Ferguson.

I couldn’t find an online version of this poem, so I’ll quote a little part of the poem (I won’t post the entire poem for copyright reasons):

“… I must resist a public urge to hug trees –
trunks are waists drunk, welcoming. Dying daffodils
that lit your face with spring whisper to wind about
the existence of bulbs. How unbearable the sky-
rejecting willow’s hang, trailing skinny fingers
in the earth like a hopeless person in a boat –
sadness twists thin wires in my juicy heart.”

I like to hug trees myself so it’s fairly obvious to me why I found this poem appealing. It is a lovely evocation of nature, and how new love can make you see and feel everything afresh. A beautiful wee poem.

21st May – Lord Byron’s ‘She walks in beauty’:

“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies”

I’m not a huge fan of Byron, he’s one of those poets that I haven’t read in depth (although I did study him in a Romanticism course…) but there’s something about this poem that has stayed with me.

Read the full poem here.

22nd May – ‘Three Ways of Recovering a Body’ by Helen Dunmore:

“…I peeled away kisses like wax
no longer warm to the touch…”

I find it quite haunting, a woman trying to reclaim her body, the parts of it that she has given to men over her life.

Read the full poem here.

28th of May – Federico García Lorca’s ‘Vals en las ramas’ (‘Waltz in the Branches’)

“Cayó una hoja
y dos
y tres
Por la luna nadaba un pez.
El agua duerme una hora
y el mar blanco duerme cien.”

I love the rhythm of this poem, and the darkness that lies underneath García Lorca’s beautiful imagery.

Read the poem in Spanish. (Includes the poem in song)
Read the poem in English.

My poetry collection isn’t particularly large at the moment, and aside from set texts from my English classes at uni, it seems to focus on Scottish, and women, poets. I am aiming to change this and branch out a little. I still feel a bit overwhelmed sometimes when it comes to poetry; there are just so many poets out there to discover. Hopefully this mini-project will help.

I won’t post a poem every night, but I will put up a new Bedtime Poems post every fortnight, reviewing the poems I have mentioned in the #bedtimepoem hashtag. If you want to put up your own bedtime poems, please use the hashtag and I will try and retweet them!

Sweet dreams! 🙂


Filed under Bedtime Poems

3 responses to “Bedtime Poems #1

  1. Nice selection here, I’m a huge Lorca fan so nice too see

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