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Ian Stuart Enfield / United Kingdom, Male, 80
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    • POEM: To My Mother by George Barker (2/4/2009 6:44:00 AM)

      Within the constraints of the 14 line sonnet, this is a vivid and affectionate portrait of the poet's mother, setting out her many qualities which include a riotous sense of humour, compassion for those in trouble and a resilience in the face of personal danger(the reference to the 'bomber' in line 9 sets the poem in the early 1940s when British cities were under attack by the squadrons of the Luftwaffe) . I like the link in line 3 of 'seismic laughter' to 'a brass band' in line 8 (both equally noisy) .
      The oblique reference to 1 Corinthians 13.2 in lines 11 and 12 changes the tone to a darker hue. Mrs Barker is in mourning_a family bereavement? However the poem ends on a triumphant note. The poet assures his mother that her religious faith and his love will ensure her sadness will be temporary. I think that the last line contains an affectionate reference to her nationality. The words 'mourning' and 'morning' have a similar sound particularly where they are spoken with an Irish accent.

    • POEM: The Prayer by Rudyard Kipling (1/16/2009 7:00:00 AM)

      This a delightful little poem. Kipling was an imperialist but he could show a genuine empathy with common humanity as in this gem of a poem. The verse still has a relevance for today's world.

    • POEM: Rosabelle by Sir Walter Scott (1/15/2009 8:51:00 AM)

      I read this at school for the first time over 50 years ago and was entranced by Scott's border ballad style and the story told. Subsequently I visited the 14th century chapel and learnt its legends referred to in the poem.I still love the poem's lyrical beauty_ one of the poet's best.