I Joined the Poetry Writing Circle

NOTICE TO RESIDENTS

We, at Twilight Lawns Residential Home for a Better Class of Person, have been very fortunate during the last few months to have acquired a new resident. This personage is none other than Mr Jack Lincoln Palmistry, the Former Poet Laureate. Mr Palmistry, after his mental breakdown, with which most of you will be familiar, came to Twilight Lawns plc to convalesce. He fitted in so nicely, that he decided to stay with us, and left his charming little pied-à-terre in Halstead, Essex, to make his home in the Lord Kitchener Wing, where we hope he will be happy during his final days.

Mr Palmistry, the dear man, has kindly taken on himself the mantle of Mentor and Artistic Director, and consequently runs a Poetry Workshop every First and Third Tuesday of the month.

All residents are welcome, and for a small fee, will be encouraged to bare their souls poetically as they gather around his knee (metaphorically speaking) to learn the beauties of Iambic Pentameters and Heroic Couplets.

Paper and writing implements are available for sale in the book store near Nurse Smythe’s Office,

Please note: Cissie is reminded that "to bare one’s soul" is a poetic device and there must not be a repetition of the Rape of the Sabine Women Tableaux she organised at the last Spring Equinox.

Those of a bellicose disposition will only be permitted to write in crayon. MrTemple and Miss Hortense de Cline are welcome under the understanding that there must not be a repetition of the dangerous use of sharp metal implements as in the fracas at the Cut and Colour Workshop run by Sister Ignatius Loyola last year.

(Sister Ignatius Loyola is apparently recovering from her wounds, but will not be returning to Twilight Lawns plc in the near future).

Here, below, is a lovely poem, written by Mrs Oulde-Ffarte, a Member of the Poetry Writing Circle.

Luca Giordano - Il ratto delle Sabine (The rape of the Sabine women)
Luca Giordano - Il ratto delle Sabine (The rape of the Sabine women)

 

I Joined the Poetry Writing Circle

or

How I wish I’d Been Born French or German

or

Those Italians have it Easy, Everything seems to end in A or I or O

The Title Page of Dear Mr Lincoln-Palmistry's lovely and inspiring book

I thought I’d join a group to make some friends

And at the same time, make amends,

For wasted time when in my youth,

I failed to learn the bitter truth,

That learning may seem boring in the extreme

But knowledge is not Naff as it may seem.

So I’ve come to dear Jack Palmistry

For help in writing poetry.

My Teddy
My Teddy

 

But how, I’ve found since in my school days,

My poetic tastes have changed in one or two ways.

When Sir, said “Write a poem of your best toy,”

My Teddy featured strongly; he was my joy.

And my rhyming, and my meter

Could hardly have been sweeter,

Well it is when you’re eleven,

And your Mum and Gran like it anyway because they LOVE you.

 

 

But then adolescence came between me

And the Human Race in general. Believe me!

And my poems took on an Apocalyptic flavour.

(And if you’ll excuse the wobbly rhyme) my writing and behaviour

Fell between the actions of a Slut and Ma Teresa.

I had given up fluffy bunnies for the razor!!!

It gets a bit Apocalyptic when you reach your teenage years  -  It's all those hormones and stuff, Innit.
It gets a bit Apocalyptic when you reach your teenage years - It's all those hormones and stuff, Innit.

I would change the world around me and learn to love my brother.

But I was buggered if I could put up with my Mother.

She criticised my purple prose

Where heaving bosoms fell and rose.

And laughed at my erotic stuff as well

Where heaving bosoms also rose and fell.


One of our Supply Teachers - She gave great lessons. She didn't last long, though.

So I couldn’t quite decide

Between Socialism and Matricide.

Then I became obsessed as teenage poets go,

With the end of mortal coils and depressions deep and low.

Then BLOOD and DEATH and PUTREFACTION

Gave me written satisfaction.

All good fun if you're a teenager - but I don't know why my Mum didn't like it as much.
All good fun if you're a teenager - but I don't know why my Mum didn't like it as much.

Oh Dear!!

But now ‘neath Mr Palmistry.

I’m scrutinising another me.

My poetic content has quite changed.

From when my hormones were rearranged.

I understand the Subjunctive Clause,

Much better since the menopause.

Menopause certainly makes you think of toning down the erotic verse.
Menopause certainly makes you think of toning down the erotic verse.

 

And somehow now, Autumnal skies

And fluffy kittens; babies’ cries;

Friends and neighbours; shopping trips;

Windy beaches; sailing ships;

All fill my notebook, but I still despair.

I still fall at meter. And those rhyming words aren’t there.

It would be easier if I didn’t have to find

A rhyme for words of the poetic kind.

I push and pull till adjectives follow the relevant noun

I search through my Thesaurus until I think I’ve found

A word to rhyme with another, but then it’s quite absurd

The word I’ve been looking for turns out to be a verb.

 

Sod it!

 

Oh if only I were German. It can’t be so hard for them.

All sentences end in verbs. All their verbs sound the same.

Or what about being Italian? Rhyming along as they go?

All words end in “I” or “A” if they don’t end in an “O”

Some bloke and his wife, practising their Italian "O"s and "A" s.  He's faking it actually He isn't Italian; he's a German... she's English.  They're going to meet this bloke who speaks Latin with a German accent. Very confusing!
Some bloke and his wife, practising their Italian "O"s and "A" s. He's faking it actually He isn't Italian; he's a German... she's English. They're going to meet this bloke who speaks Latin with a German accent. Very confusing!

 

But it’s terribly hard in English. The language is a sod.

I’ve been trying to write a poem, and it really is quite odd.

The lecturer gave us “Nostalgia”, and said “Write a bit”,

Using bloody Iambic Pentameter. Well frankly, who gives a shit?

And then I end up with “sunset sky of orange

And have to force a long interminable line (which doesn’t scan) 

 about how much fun it was to shop at Gorringes.

What does rhyme with "orange" anyway?
What does rhyme with "orange" anyway?

 

I think I’ll do a course in car maintenance or landscape gardening or finger knitting when this is over.

More by this Author


Comments 45 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

What great fun!

Up, funny, and awesome!


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

Adorable and funny my friend...I loved it! Although I'm afraid I'm only qualified to sit outside the poetry circle, it's not my strong suit. So I'm not sure how much weight my comments carry! Voted up!!!


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Why does everything have to be funny? Springs to mind. I knew we'd drag you down to our level. But steady on, or i'll start writing those sonnety things. Well done, a bit of fun goes a long way.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you so much for stopping by and your comments, Will. I will tell the management at Twilight Lawns plc that you were here, and that you are a regular visitor.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Angie, I've had a little word with Mr Lincoln-Palmistry, and he said that you are always welcome in his Poetry Circle. He says your last poem was lovely, and if you continue to improve, he will have it published in the Twilight Lawns plc monthly News Letter.

By the way; I think you may have left a half eaten sandwich stuffed down the back of the radiator, just where you were sitting.

Bins are for that, dear!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

AttemptedHumour, thank you for passing the time reading my hub. I appreciate your comments, and look forward to your visits.

Those Sonnety things are a bugger to write, aren't they? If you would like me to, I will have a word with Mr Lincoln Palmistry and see if he will invite you to his Poetry Circle as Guest Speaker.

I've just read your latest hub, How to right, riming poetry'. It is brilliant... I highly recommend it to anyone who would improve his or her poetic skills.


ltfawkes profile image

ltfawkes 5 years ago from NE Ohio

Another gem! "Cissie is reminded that "to bare one’s soul" is a poetic device . . ." I nearly fell out of my chair.

I can't get enough of your tales of Twilight Lawns plc. I recently spent a very enjoyable chunk of time on your enchanting Twilight Lawns website. (Why don't you have the link in your profile any more? I think it's http://twilightlawnsplc (I just google it))

I'm devastated, by the way, that the old char-a-banc is being retired. I guess if it no longer runs, it no longer runs, but still . . .

Keep 'em coming!

L.T.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Lovely, Ian. Yes, other nations have it easier.

Try to rhyme "Apfelsine" or "Zitrusfrucht"

Or "arancio" or "arancione".

You are right, Italians have it easier, yet in translating, you are stuck with English again, unless...

This is a beautiful poem (given that I don't speak Italian, looking for poems with the word orange was slightly cumbersome):

*********************************************************

Il Lauro

Nell'orto, a Massa — o blocchi di turchese,

alpi Apuane! o lunghi intagli azzurri

nel celestino, all'orlo del paese!

un odorato e lucido verziere

pieno di frulli, pieno di sussurri,

pieno dè flauti delle capinere.

Nell'aie acuta la magnolia odora,

lustra l'arancio popolato d'oro —

io, quando al Belvedere era l'aurora,

venivo al piede d'uno snello alloro.

Sorgeva presso il vecchio muro, presso

il vecchio busto d'un imperatore,

col tronco svelto come di cipresso.

Slanciato avanti, sopra il muro, al sole

dava la chioma. Intorno era un odore,

sottil, di vecchio, e forse di viole.

Io sognava: una corsa luna il puro

Frigido, l'oro di capelli sparsi,

una fanciulla... Ancora al vecchio muro,

tremava il lauro che parea slanciarsi.

Un'alba — si sentìa di due fringuelli

chiaro il francesco mio: la capinera

già desta squittinìa di tra i piselli —

tu più non c'eri, o vergine fugace:

netto il pedale era tagliato: v'era

quel vecchio odore e quella vecchia pace;

il lauro, no. Sarchiava li vicino

Fiore, un ragazzo pieno di bontà.

Gli domandai del lauro; e Fiore, chino

sopra il sarchiello: Faceva ombra, sa!

E m'accennavi un campo glauco, o Fiore,

di cavolo cappuccio e cavolfiore.

*********************************************************

The Laurel Tree

In the Massa garden – oh, the azure peaks,

Apuan Alps! oh long, blue notches through

celestine sky, to the countryside’s horizon!

a glistening, aromatic vegetable garden,

full of fluttering wings, full of whispers,

full of the blackcap’s fluty, warbling song.

The magnolia’s sharp fragrance fills the air;

covered with golden spots, the orange tree gleams –

I, when dawn appeared at Belvedere,

came to the foot of a slender laurel tree.

It rose alongside an ancient wall,

near the weathered bust of an emperor,

and its trunk was slim, like a cypress tree.

Above the wall, soaring overhead, the sun

lit its green leaves. All around, a fragrance,

subtle, ancient, and perhaps of violets.

I dreamed: a trip along the pure Frigido,

the golden glimmer off her loose blonde hair,

a maiden . . . Once again, by the old wall,

the shaking laurel seemed to tower upward.

One dawn – francesco mio, one could hear

two finches singing clearly: the blackcap,

already awake, chirped among the peas –

you disappeared, oh fleeting virgin: your trunk

felled cleanly at the base: it used to be

this old fragrance and that ancient peace;

the laurel, no. Fiore, a boy full

of kindness, was pulling weeds nearby. I asked

about the laurel; and Fiore, bent

over his hoe, replied, It cast a shadow!

I find it to be full of meaning (hidden or not). Maybe your Writing Circle Friends would like it, too. As people, imperfect at best, we cast a shadow...


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

This was just delightful...and what a pleasure to brighten my day. Up and awesome!


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

This was fabulous! You are fabulous.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

...well, you are the BEST! A combination of wit, intelligence, talent and a very creative imagination. Wow - I would like some of that, please. I think you should consider moving to Nashville, Tn, USA - next door to me.

"Just think how happy I would be -

if you lived right next door to me".

The above is my audition 2-liner for you. :) Rated up!

vocalcoach


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

L.T. I didn't know I had the link on my hub. I had it on my blog, but that is another (and an unproductive) matter.

I shall, if you think it's a good idea.

I have a feeling that visitors to this hub are going to be confused. Only you and two others have been through the main gates of Twilight Lawns plc


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Svetlana, I struggled through the poem, in Italian, with my most rudimentary Italian... my, oh my, did I have some misconceptions... I am beginning to realise that a person with absolutely no talent in writing poetry but a smattering of a foreign language, could read and transpose that other poem and make something beautiful (or deeply unfathomable).

A good idea, but I would never do it myself (I could write a poem called 'Mendacity'; who would know?


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you Genna. I'm glad I entertained you. That makes me content. Please come and have another look around soon; you might find something else to brighten your day.

I hope so.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you Randy (Oh how I liked writing that).

You won't always find the integrity of another you are following, (BenWritings), but I aim to please.

I am so pleased to have pleased you. Now you have visited, please come again; you are most welcome, with a fabulous comment like that.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you VocalCoach. Wow! That is a lovely invitation. Thank you for the lovely comment. I think I just might come and visit... and to see your lovely little dog. Give him a pat from me.

And thanks again for coming and reading.


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

Sandwich....what sandwich?? :) I have been through the portals of Twilight Lawns plc and I love to visit there. As a matter of fact I was just there giving my mother a tour, seeing if I can generate some interest in the old girls heart. haha


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Tell the Old Dear that there is quite a party atmosphere at Medication Time. And Nurse Smythe makes a wicked pot of Senna Pod Tea if she needs it.

But please, Angie, be careful. Don't just turn up unexpectedly; Eulalia Hawkins (Mrs) has it in her mind that burglars may be hanging around, and she can be quite brutal if she catches someone wandering around the grounds if she doesn't recognise them.

And Ghastly Predny tends to be a bit savage if there's an "r" in the month.


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

Ian, a wonderful and funny job on this. You're outdoing yourself with pictures lately!


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I did not mean to make you suffer through the poem in Italian. I'd love to put them side by side, but it is not possible in the comment.

As difficult as writing poetry is, translating it is even harder. And I just loved the poem and the other one. I never even heard of this poet before. But this is just me.

Orange - does not rhyme - Italians - arancio - arancione - Giovanni Pascoli - poem with the word arancio was Il Lauro

And gratitude for this gift?

*********************************************************

The Two Drones

You, poet, situate yourself in this

chaotic world, to analyze and frame it

for us in simple words and pleasing verse,

so that your work depicts what men feel

amid vain shadows, among naked shades.

Now you receive no gratitude for this gift?

I heard two drones buzzing underneath

the mulberry tree. The first declared, These bees

make honey, nothing more: how lucky! The next

remarked, And they ruin it: with too much thyme!


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

What fun!! Off the subject a bit -- How do you place the pictures alongside of your writing? I have only been successful placing them before or after my text.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

My, what a fan base you have developed in my absence! You know, Cissy was most welcome at any party in her younger years, but then Mrs Oulde-Ffarte would show up and clear the room. Love to see you putting the Twilight Lawn ladies here. And a pleasure to read you again, my friend!


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Nice poem,thanks.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Svetlana, your intellect overwhelms me. Every comment; every hub, and I stand flabbergasted at your knowledge and integrity.

I can say no more, apart from saying that every word in that is true, yet inadequate.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

A mixed reception, but all positive. Thank you for reading it, Shogan, my friend. I know it was incredibly deep and moving, but it had to be said. Ha ha!

Your "explanation" hadn't been forgotten, I have just been struggling with the Muse... she is refusing to lean over my shoulder to help, and I'm having to go it alone, for once.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Glad you enjoyed it Sally.

The picture? When you have edited your photo capsule, and saved it, the picture enters your hub, either before or after your text. There appears a little green arrow (several in fact). If you press the right pointing arrow, it takes the picture to the right, but it is still below the text (or above the text).

Now, if the picture is below the text, press the green arrow pointing "up" and it will sit beside your text.

If the picture is above the text, press the green arrow pointing "down" and it will sit beside your text.

In each case, the picture "squidges" your text so they can sit side by side, taking up equal space.

By the way; pictures can only be moved to the right!

I hope that helps.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Christoph. I am glad that you have noted my little chums. All due to you, my friend; all due to you.

The more lucid Girls at Twilight Lawns plc have been asking me what has happened to you, and I had to admit that I had no idea.

Matron says that, if ever you are passing, please drop in; there will always be tea and Battenberg Cake for her favourite writer.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for dropping in, Crystolite. You are most welcome. I am glad you enjoyed your read, Come again, please.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Very cleverly written. You're quite a funny poet. I'm sure your feet must show it. Are they Longfellows?

For myself, I enjoyed the limericks we learned in school. There once was a girl from Nantucket. . . . or "Twas brillig and the slithey toves. . ."


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you Peg. Yes, I don't think that poetry must be serious always, but I do like silly verse as well. Have a look at attemptedhumour's hub on writing poetry, he's very, very clever.

I like Limericks too. Perhaps you will like this, of mine:

A friend just confessed; and I quote:

“I’ve just written writ, ‘stead of wrote”.

His conscience was smitten.

Should he have written

To right the writ writ which he wrote?


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

Ian, all in due time. I've checked my inbox a few times, I have to admit, but I can understand why it might be a hard note to write. Whatever you have to say, I'm listening.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

It's the cast list; to I change the names to protect the innocent? Ha ha!


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

You have nothing to worry about from me, Ian. Tell it like it is. I think it's important to do that.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

My typographical skills are crap, aren't they?

It's the cast list; DO I change the names to protect the innocent? Ha ha!

I consider myself as being one of the innocent.

Like a babe to the slaughter.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India

So delightfully entertaining! Thanks for the smiles, TL :)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...after reading this (gasp) I think you must own the rights to poetry ........ well certainly you are writing your own thing - and it's so beautiful to see and read - making you a true, bright and bold creative anomaly - stunning says the epi-man who is otherwise at a loss for words ....


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Shalini, thank you for coming to have a read; I am glad I entertained you. That makes me a happy man.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Epi-man, thanks for stopping by. I fear I must take you to task. If those were words from he who is at a loss for words, then one wonders what it must be like to read the words of an articulate man.

Thank you for your interest.


rcrawford profile image

rcrawford 5 years ago from NE Ohio

This was absolutely delish! It certainly reminds the poet in my that all doesn't have to be deep as a well and wider than a church door. A "Seven Stages of Man" revisited.

Loved it!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...yeah but once in a blue moon .. it does happen - lol - after reading someone ...like you!!!!!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thabj you RC. And I am revelling in your great story... err ... novel, as well.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Wonderful hub! Ian..so unique and funny. Thank you!

Sunnie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Words are fun, Sunnie, but they are useless unless someone comes and reads them and appreciates them... as you have. Thank you. I am so glad you liked what you read.

When you are securely settled into your room at Twilight Lawns. you might like to join the poetry writing circle. You'll have a lovely time.


steve of ian fame profile image

steve of ian fame 5 years ago from Essex

When stuck with a word like orange, go for assonance.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dear Soif, I don't think that would help either. Thanks for your visit. Please feel free to come and poke around whenever you are at a loose end. Your visits are always welcome.

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