Treasuring Poetry – If by Rudyard Kipling and The Listeners by Walter de la MarePosted: June 19, 2021
This month I am featuring my own favourite poems and a poem and picture from my forthcoming poetry book, Behind Closed Doors. I hadn’t intended to feature my own work this month, but sometimes life happens and so I am making the best of it.
If by Rudyard Kipling
I love the poem If by Rudyard Kipling because it is so inspiring and uplifting. The objective of the poem was to give his son advice and instruction on how to live a happy and successful life. I relate strongly to this advice possibly because I have two sons.
My favourite lines are as follows:
“If you can bear to hear the truth you have spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools.”
The first two lines above warn that his son must learn to endure his own words twisted by dishonest and harmful people in order to serve their own agendas. The second two lines explain the importance of being able to cope with failure and pick yourself up and carry on, even if what you fail at has been your life’s work.
Both of these situations are ones that everyone comes across in life – people who are willing to walk on you in order to serve their own purposes and failure. How we deal with the resulting disillusionment and disappointment has a huge bearing on our lives going forward.
I like to re-read this poem as a reminder to myself to stay strong and on my chosen path in life.
You can listen to my recital of this poem here:
The Listener by Walter de la Mare
In summary, this poem is about a traveler who comes to a house on a moonlit night and knocks on the door. He demands that the door be opened but he receives no answer.
We discover that the traveler has made a promise to return to the occupants of the house, but he has been prevented from doing so until the current time. It is too late and the occupants are gone. He clearly feels some guilt because he cries “Tell them I came, and no one answered, That I kept my word…”
I love this poem because of its supernatural undertone. There is a mystery that runs through the poem and you feel the whisper of ghosts in the imagined echoes of the listener’s words.
You can listen to my recital of this poem here:
Which of these two poems do you like best?
This is a poem from my poetry book, Open a new door.
A deluge of rain tumbles from the sky
like a bucket turned upside down
the beggars impervious to its ferocity
faces impassive, no fear or frown.
Young boys stand on the roadside
eyes smoldering with hunger’s pain
need forcing them to continue standing
despite the lightening and drenching rain.
One holds a bedraggled cardboard sign
the other a tattered polystyrene cup
each hoping a passerby will pause
and give something to eat or sup.
A young mother stands shivering
an old umbrella sheltering her child
his eyes huge and frightened
he’s never laughed or even smiled.
In the middle of an intersection
an old man stands bent and alone
his head bowed in supplication to the torrent
he doesn’t complain, sigh or moan.
It’s rare to see the elderly on the street
poverty means many don’t live that long
my heart fills with a wrenching pain
for this anguished society to which I belong.
At the traffic light outside my offices there are a collection of beggars and window washers. One old man stands in the middle of the intersection. It is hard to extend any aid to him as it is not a good place to slow down. This motely crew is there every day, come rain or shine.
I have a new poetry collection coming out soon. Here is the cover, designed by the amazing Teagan Riordain Geneviene
About Robbie Cheadle
Robbie Cheadle is a children’s author and poet.
The Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.
Robbie has also published books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.
Robbie writes a monthly series for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms. This series discusses different topics relating to the benefits of reading to children.
Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.
Find Robbie Cheadle
Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram
Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books
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