Monthly Archives: January 2021

This week, I have chosen poems about kings and emperors.

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Time to change the mood I think, so I’ve chosen poetry that amuses me this week, and I hope it will amuse you too.

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Even in the darkest days of my life, I have found hope and inspiration in poetry. When I sought inspiration for Nicola’s eulogy and the inscription on her memorial stone, I read poetry; when I felt depressed and lonely and needed a reason or a rationale to cling to, I read poetry; and when I felt more optimistic and wanted to maintain my mood, I read poetry.

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I have picked this moment because it is the third anniversary of my darling Nicola’s death this week. The feeling of loss is still keen—there is no measurement for it—and my sorrow that such a vibrant, generous and happy person should have been lost so young is still a powerful emotion.

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This week’s poems are a stark contrast to the bravery and courage expressed in the poems of last week—they are tales of the cross cove, the criminal who takes advantage of others by theft, fraud or murder.

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This week’s poems are all on the subject of determination, courage and hope in the face of huge odds.

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The authors of sea shanties are often unknown, as they usually grew out of the rhythm of hard work: rowing a boat or lifting a sail or raising the anchor.

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It seems right to commemorate the tremendous efforts of World War II by choosing poems for the army, navy and air force.

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This week’s poems continue the theme of love, starting with Christopher Marlowe’s pastoral plea of “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”, continuing with Sir Walter Raleigh’s imagining of “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” and concluding with Christina Rossetti’s celebratory “The Birthday”.

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Love is a perennial theme for poets and lyricists the world over, of course, and there are many poems that I could choose from.

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