Thursday, 2 October 2014

National Poetry Day #thinkofapoem


Have you heard of National Poetry Day? If not, here's the explanation of what it's all about:

"National Poetry Day is the nation's biggest celebration of poetry. Everyone is joining in, releasing poetry into the streets, squares, supermarkets, parks, train stations, bus-stops and post-boxes. We know of poetry police, poetry funeral directors, poetry ambulances. Add yourselves to the ever-growing list by tying verse on trees, to make a poet tree. Or stick it in your window for the world to see. This year's theme is Remember, so if you remember a poem, however short, pass it on with a hashtag #thinkofapoem."

You can find this explanation and more details on the Forward Arts Foundation website.

This week also sees my late father's birthday so the theme of 'remember' seems very appropriate. My father was a well read man, a lover of theatre and a great fan of Robbie Burns so the poem that I remember and share today is 'To a Mouse'. My father would quote parts of this poem to me as a child and the term 'Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie' has stayed with me to this day.

So here it is, my poem for National Poetry Day and for Charlie, Robbie Burns' To a Mouse.

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie, 
O, what a panic's in thy breastie! 
Thou need na start awa sae hasty, 
Wi' bickering brattle! 
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee, 
Wi' murd'ring pattle! 
 
I'm truly sorry man's dominion, 
Has broken nature's social union, 
An' justifies that ill opinion, 
Which makes thee startle 
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion, 
An' fellow-mortal! 

 I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve; 
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live! 
A daimen icker in a thrave 
 'S a sma' request; 
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave, 
An' never miss't! 

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin! 
 It's silly wa's the win's are strewin! 
An' naething, now, to big a new ane, 
O' foggage green! 
An' bleak December's winds ensuin, 
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste, 
An' weary winter comin fast, 
An' cozie here, beneath the blast, 
Thou thought to dwell - 
Till crash! the cruel coulter past 
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e.
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

2 comments:

  1. I had no idea it was national poetry day. I haven't written a poem in years. I used to love it though.

    Great poem, Fi.

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