Escaping is the not – so-hidden theme for our poetry illustration this month,.
What with everything that’s going on in the world a week marooned on a desert island – no masks, no food shortages and the isolation without the pings ? What’s not to love?
Beth was straight off to a blue lagoon somewhere tropical with this clever combination of water colour and collage. Rachel was right behind her with this lovely interpretation of John Betjeman’s ode to Ynys Mon, in chalk pastels.
A Bay in Anglesey
by John Betjeman
The sleepy sound of a tea-time tide
Slaps at the rocks the sun has dried,
Too lazy, almost, to sink and lift
Round low peninsulas pink with thrift.
The water, enlarging shells and sand,
Grows greener emerald out from land
And brown over shadowy shelves below
The waving forests of seaweed show.
Here at my feet in the short cliff grass
Are shells, dried bladderwrack, broken glass,
Pale blue squills and yellow rock roses.
The next low ridge that we climb discloses
One more field for the sheep to graze
While, scarcely seen on this hottest of days,
Far to the eastward, over there,
Snowdon rises in pearl-grey air.
Multiple lark-song, whispering bents,
The thymey, turfy and salty scents
And filling in, brimming in, sparkling and free
The sweet susurration of incoming sea.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by WB Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
One particular time after a harsh morning of rain
The clouds lifted
The winds fell
There was a resurrection of nature
And we were to emerge
With it into the anointed air
I wanted to say ‘we will remember this’
But tenses are out of place on that green island
Ringed with the rain’s bow that we had found
and would spend the rest of our lives looking for.
If Once You Have Slept on and Island
by Rachel Field
If once you have slept on an island
You’ll never be quite the same;
You may look as you looked the day before
And go by the same old name,
You may bustle about in street and shop;
You may sit at home and sew,
But you’ll see blue water and wheeling gulls
Wherever your feet may go.
You may chat with the neighbours of this and that
And close to your fire keep,
But you’ll hear ship whistle and lighthouse bell
And tides beat through your sleep.
Oh, you won’t know why, and you can’t say how
Such change upon you came,
But – once you have slept on an island
You’ll never be quite the same!