Sunday, 25 October 2009

Poetry - to enhance and entrance

words stream past me poetry
twentieth-century rivers
disturbed surfaces reflecting clouds
reflecting wrinkled neon
(Adrienne Rich)
On Friday the Man and me took off to London, me with scribbling pad, he with camera. It was one of those beautiful autumn mornings, no work scheduled for the day so we took the opportunity to do 'something else'. My 'something else' was to visit the poetry library. Up until a few weeks ago I hadn't heard of the poetry library, so I was keen to check it out. It's based in The South Bank Centre and if you arrive in time for a sandwich lunch you may even be serenaded with great music for free! Though I can't guarantee this with every visit.
The poetry library is on the fifth floor of the Centre and it has a wealth of poetry books and collections. I can guarantee that you will find something there to stir and inspire the mind. In fact you don't even need to read from the written page. As I gazed out the window (between readings) the lines above by Adrienne Rich caught my eye. On a beautiful day, I enjoyed 'the reflecting clouds' and the time, the peace and the quiet to savour the words I read.

When I met the Man later, he had captured a few pictures which interestingly enough captured something of the essence of the day too. Did you know that Calliope was the Muse of Poetic Inspiration?

I noted a comment from DW Grubb's poetry collection, (The Memory of Rooms)
" ...Poets deaths get mentioned, seldom their entrances, rarely their authority as change-agents, enhancers, entrancers".
I hadn't really thought about the poet as a change -agent, enhancer and entrancher. I like that.


  1. What a wonderful find, I've not heard about the Poetry Library before. A great idea for the winter months!

    As for poets as agents of change - what a marvellous idea. Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Auden and many others have left us seeing the world differently....

  2. Very interesting about the Poetry Library. Your comment that something there will “stir and inspire the mind” struck me. Thanks for writing that! I wrote about art and its impact on us in my blog afterwards.
    Tom H

  3. Hi Caroline

    Would recommend a visit, leave plenty of time to savour the words, the prose, the creative musings ... think you'll come away quite inspired. It has inspired creativity in my humble musings and who knows may be reflected in future blogs!

  4. Hi Tom ...lovely to know that my words prompted your words. A thought provoking post for sure. Well done. Where does the 'Sweet melodies unheard ..." come from?

  5. Hi Mary: The full quote is below, from Keats:
    "Heard melodies are sweet,but those unheard
    Are sweeter; therefore,ye soft pipes,play on;
    Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
    Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone.
    Fair youth,beneath the trees,thou canst not leave
    Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
    Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
    Though winning near the goal -- yet,do not grieve;
    She cannot fade,though thou hast not thy bliss,
    For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

    John Keats, "Ode To A Grecian Urn,"
    paragraph II


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