A Spot of Poetry

Chris has been talking about Hilaire Belloc recently, and then he did a post about this very interesting and, somewhat controversial, writer. We realised that our experiences of Belloc are different and that whilst Chris loves the adult books, I love his Cautionary Tales. Chris meanwhile has never read the Cautionary Tales. This, of course, led to me quoting extensively from this wonderful book and reminded me that during my teens I was much given to writing cautionary tales of my own!! None survive thankfully!

Here are some of my favourite quotes. From Matilda:

You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,
And throw the window up and call
To People passing in the Street-
(The rapidly increasing Heat
Encouraging her to obtain
Their confidence)-but it was all in vain!
For every time She shouted "Fire!"
They only answered "Little Liar!"
And therefore when her Aunt returned,
Matilda, and the House, were burned.

And, from Jim, who was eaten by a Lion:

Now, just imagine how it feels
When first your toes and then your heels,
And then by gradual degrees,
Your shins and ankles, calves and knees,
Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.
No wonder Jim detested it! 

We then started chatting about writing doggerel (mine, not Belloc's) and how easy it is to write iambic pentameter verse once you start. On holiday, down in Sussex a few years ago, we composed a series of poems about Obama's llamas and Barracka's alpacas. Goodness knows what we would have done with Donald Trump! Then, like now, I was reminded of the wonderful and incomparable Enid Blyton's description of writing rhyming verse. Blyton puts her thoughts into the mouth of Frederick Algernon Trotville from her Five Find Outer books: "you don't sit down, you just stand up and it comes..... like water pouring out of a tap" and also:

Oh every time
You want a rhyme
You let your tongue go loose.
Don't hold it tight,
Or try to bite,
That won't be any use!
Just let it go
And words will flow
From off your eager tongue.
And rhymes and all
Will lightly fall
To make a little song!

What more is there to say!