Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A Giraffodil Poem

The first of April seems like a good time to make myself look a little silly!

I'm referring to my foray into writing a poem around this time last year. No-one really knew my blog existed then, so I was relatively unabashed. But now ... a good number of you are proper poets! However, I'll stick my neck out and post it again anyway.

Poetry is something I know very little about - but I know what I like! My favourite poem of all time is 'Moonlit Apples' by John Drinkwater.

I first read it during my student years and was captivated by its sense of wonder. All my life a sense of wonder has been one of my most cherished 'riches'. The Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! recently posted about wonder and describes it far better than I ever could.


Plants are one of my passions. The sight of the wild giraffodil Narcissus sylvestris ssp. giraffodil growing in woodland fills me with the most exquisite wonder.

I used the structure of 'Moonlit Apples' as an homage to John Drinkwater for all the pleasure his poem has given me.

My poetic effort and language is 'over-the-top' I know - but I suppose that is what you would expect from a giraffe!

46 comments:

Poetikat said...

Your poem has all the classic hallmarks, Raph! I love the language, the enjambment from line to line and the imagery is just lovely.
By the way, is John Drinkwater any relation to Carol of "All Creatures Great and Small" fame?

Kat

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Poetikat - I really appreciate that coming from you!

(I have not seen "All Creatures Great and Small", and don't know the answer to your question - maybe one of my readers knows, and can mention the answer in their comment?)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Raph…this is a fine and lovely poem. You owe no apologies to anyone for its language and lines. It works as homage, too.

I'm so glad and humbled that my small piece on wonder has found such resonance, but I do understand how wonder can be so moving and important. It is to be cherished and sought, for it is one of life's richest rewards.

If I may dream, it would be that one day in a green spring wood, I would be blessed by the wonder of blooming giraffodils. What a sight!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you so much, Grizzled! And thank you for the continuous inspiration of your blog.

I hope that your dream of the wonder of finding giraffodils blooming in a spring wood comes true!

Barbara Martin said...

Raph, it's a wonderful poem that resonates with my inner soul. The imagery sings!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Barbara - I'm really honoured!

Delwyn said...

Good morning Raph, Delwyn here, we met the other day,

this is a beautiful post Raph - all of it, the images and your poem. Your poem expresses your feelings really well and I relate to those feelings, so there- you are a successful poet...
I'm off to read more giraffing...

Happy Days

Cloudia said...

How very delightful and "WonderSome!"

"All my life a sense of wonder has been one of my most cherished 'riches'."

Ah, that is why your blog and warm friendship are such easily cherished riches! Thank you for sharing this dear perspective with us! Aloha, Mr. NECKman

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Delwyn and welcome! I am so pleased that you relate to the feelings of my poem.

Enjoy your giraffey-read!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Cloudia, thank you! What a lovely word you have there - Wondersome! It will make a good greeting 'Have a wondersome day!'

Madame DeFarge said...

I envy people who can write poetry. My own senses about such things remain resolutely lumpen.

This was beautiful. I do envy you.

Derrick said...

Hello Raph,

Your poem is my kind of language, so if it's over-the-top, then so must I be!

I was in that sylvan glade soaking up the sights and sounds and scents. Beautiful imagery!

Happy Day to you!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you so much, Madame DeFarge!

I don't write poetry very often - about one poem every three years or less!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Derrick - I'm so pleased you speak giraffe language too!

It has made my day that my poem caused you to feel you were actually in the sylvan glade.

(It's quite close to the secret Camelopardalis portal ...)

Tom Atkins said...

I think you well qualify as a "proper poet". But since your talent spans genres, you are far more than just a poet. You are a delight.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Goodness me - a delight! What can I say, Tom, except a hearty giraffe thank you!

Gaston Studio said...

Like you, I'm not an expert on poems but I, too, could visualize the wonderful and whimsical giraffodils so clearly.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Your poem is a delight Raph - and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
I have not heard of John Drinkwater since my father used to recite him long ago - I shall now go and find him on the shelf.

I read that when Wordsworth first did a draft of his poem Daffodils - he had the first line as "I wandered like a lonely cloud." How much better his second version sounds.
Happy Spring - may your giraffodils blook in profusion and dazzle you with their brightness.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I'm glad I communicated the giraffodils to you, Gaston Studio. I've always had to express creatively the things I see/hear/sense, and it's a wonderful feeling to know that I've been able to share the experience.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Weaver!

I hope you enjoy re-visiting John Drinkwater.

I did not know that about the Wordsworth poem - it is so much better in the second version. What a tremendous difference in a small change!

willow said...

Giraffodils. Now that made me giggle! Perfect poem for this sunny first day of April!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Giraffodils are wonderful flowers, Willow! They can be giggly, mysterious, shy or simply beautiful!

Mad Bush Farm Crew said...

Raph you've done it again! Made me smile large and wide. What a great poem. The only thing I remember about the fine art of poetry writing is from 5th form. Stanzas and that's it. I just love the giraffodil. I wonder if I can sneak some here onto my farm and let them join the other wild things I have here. Wonderful art - wonderful poetry it's just made my morning completely.

And I still haven't found a briefcase big enough to fit my farm into yet...

Liz

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I'm so glad I have made you smile large and wide, Liz! And thank you for the compliments!

It'd be great if we could get some giraffodils growing around your farm!

Heather said...

Your poem is beautiful Raph. I think giraffodils would look lovely in the little part shaded patch among the hellebores in our garden. I love the illustration of the moonlit giraffodil woods. Thankyou for your comment on my blog. You shouldn't discourage me from being ruthless about having a good clearout - I need no excuse for keeping all my junk!!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Heather! Ooh yes, giraffodils and hellebores would look lovely together, especially the hellebores with the spots.

You are right, I shouldn't discourage you from clearing out junk! De-cluttering ... there's a lot to be said for it, but not when all those scraps of paper, fabric, wood and everything else can be used so creatively!

Jan said...

Giraffodils are my favourite flower and I love the poem

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Jan! Great to hear from you.

L. Rochelle said...

Each line transfixes..
Yet "one is tempted to abide forever in the sylvan glade"..forsaking even a homey shelter..
Lyn

Jeane said...

"silver trumpets lift on slender necks" - I love this line and it is actually very giraffaifick! my poetry 'chops' are rather poor, so am not familiar with Mr. Drinkwater's work, but am totally into the idea of 'wonder' - wish more people were!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Lyn!

I am indeed often tempted to abide forever in a sylvan glade! It is so difficult to tear oneself away from such wondrous places.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Jeane.

I'm not familiar with much poetry atall, but there are certain poems that really express wonder.

Wonder is so often in the simplest things too, like sunlight on a bowl of fruit, or the sound of the breeze.

bindu said...

Love the poem! You are a giraffe of many talents.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Bindu. There is so much inspiration around especially in spring!

The Solitary Walker said...

What a lovely poetic tribute to that wonderful John Drinkwater poem, Raph. I had read it before, a long time ago - and remember loving it then. Thanks for reminding me of it now.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you SW. Moonlit Apples is indeed a lovely poem and has lit my life for many years.

Eleanor said...

A wonderful poem in the genre of the Romantics. Amazing what blogging does to us - suddenly we have the courage to write even poetry and send it out into the whole wide world. That world is filled with encouraging fellow-bloggers and that gives us even more courage to extend ourselves yet further. Hope this is the first of many more!

Heather said...

Thanks for visiting Raph. As three of the rooms being repainted have a toilet in them I don't think there would be many takers for a guided tour, and I can never keep our bedroom tidy like the ones in glossy magazines.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you so much, Eleanor! Your comment is so encouraging, and you are right about the positive effects of blogging. Not only does it enable one to converse with great people, it can also extend one's range of interests. A truly life-enhancing experience!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I'm chuckling about the toilets, Heather! I doubt if many homes are as tidy as the ones in magazines. Maybe I should do a guided tour of Necky Knoll House. I could call it 'Sun Shines on the Dust'. We're having our spring moult too, so everything is covered in orange hairs.

Choices said...

Isn't it wonderful that we can be inspired by things to help us write poetry. Lovely.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you, Choices! There is so much inspiration out there.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I never thought of daffodils being giraffe-like before, but their form really is! Cool!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Monica! Our giraffodils are quite similar to your planet Earth ones.

Dee said...

It is beautiful Ralph! I love those Giraffodils!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Dee! Giraffodils are one of my favourite flowers!