Thursday, October 04, 2012

On National Poetry Day


Stuffed Birds at the Blackburn Museum
by Kevin Bamford

While mother was off shopping
at the co-op and the market hall
I studied birds,
birds in glass cases,
motionless.

I tried
to keep their shapes and markings
in my mind,
hoping I could name them
if I saw them in the wild.

It would be years
before I saw a buzzard
or a wren.
And to this day
I haven't seen
what I most wanted then.

Standing before the glass case as a child
I longed to see an eagle in the wild

I saw this poem a few years ago in the Rowley's House Museum in Shrewsbury, pinned to a display case.   I liked it as it reminded me of something from my childhood that I'd all but forgotten.

I was almost six and staying with my grandma whilst my mum was on honeymoon with my new step-father.  I was an unhappy child.  My father had died over a year ago and now my mum had been taken away by a stranger. When she came back we were to move to another house where I was going to have a new, almost grown up sister and loads of new aunts and uncles.  I think I was quite scared of this.   My grandma must have found me a handful at times, she was after all in her early seventies,  and so her neighbour, Mrs Brown, took me out for the day.  I remember Mrs Brown, a plump, jolly lady with dark hair, I remember her big-skirted floral frock, her summer hat, her little gloves and necklace of white plastic popper beads.  She took me to paddle in the  pool at the local town's park.  We had a picnic;  but mostly I remember where we had gone before that.  She took me to the local museum to see its collection of stuffed birds.   Little did I know as I was walking round gazing into the cases that eighteen years later I would go to work in that museum.  Of course, the birds were still there!

Here is a link to the poet's website   -  Kevin Bamford

and here is a link to the National Poetry Day website  -  National Poetry Day

       
       

14 comments:

  1. I didn't know there was a national poetry day and somehow, it almost seems like poetry is a lost art.

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    1. I think poetry goes through phases of popularity at the moment it seems quite popular over here:)

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  2. I am becoming more appreciative of poetry as I get older. Kevin's above is simple and accessible. I can easily relate to it.

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    1. I liked the poem as like you I could easily relate to it. I like reading poetry out loud to get the flow of the words:)

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  3. Isn't it funny how history repeats itself? Maybe your love of birdwatching comes from wanting to see them free rather than shown in glass cases as in the poets words?!!! x

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    1. Well I must admit I much prefer to see them flitting around my bird feeders than motionless in glass cases. Some of the larger birds in the museum cases seemed quite sinister to my younger self:)

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  4. What comes around turns around. Sometimes these coincidences feel strange but the subconcious mind is always taking note. Lovely descriptive prose Rosie.

    Happy National Poetry Day.

    Jeanne
    x

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne - same to you:)

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  5. Mrs Brown sounds like a kind person. A great poem, poetry day has been all over Twitter, who'd have thought it would be such a big cultural event on a social networking site?

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    1. I didn't know it was being twittered about but I should have guessed really that it would catch on that way:)

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  6. Crikey Rosie - you really made me feel your anxiety with this post. What turbulent and scarey times for that 6 year old little girl. At least I know everything turned out OK for her. Life is a funny old game - and that poem was spot on. Lots of Love xxxxxx

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    1. My sister and I often talk now about how difficult it was for both of us to suddenly find we had new family to cope with. I thought you would like the poem:)

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  7. I love a good poem - and that was good. Funny how life turns out isn't it - you don't seem too scarred by your early trauma. Must admit I would have hated it too.

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    1. It did take a long time to adjust, I think. Glad you liked the poem:)

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