22 February 2017

Poem

LATER NOTE: Usually a poem should speak to its readers without explanation but with regard to "Poor Tree" I have something to say. The other day, in an idle moment, I realised that the term "poetry" sounds just the same as "poor tree". Why it had taken me sixty years to reach this realisation, I have no idea. 

And then I thought about the toughness of solitary moorland trees - windblown and exposed, perhaps as poetry should sometimes be. Seeking truth, seeing the world clearly, selecting the right words - all of this requires a certain hardiness - like the tree clinging on to the hill.

I could claim that this elusive poem has nothing much to do with trees. It's really about poetry and the quest for truth and understanding. In this, the tree becomes merely a metaphor for tenacity - something that endures "when all is lost".

For the illustration, I remembered a tree I had photographed in October 2013, by a track that leads up from Shireoaks Farm near Malcoff in The Peak District. It seemed to possess the character of poetry - a "poor tree" on the edge.

20 comments:

  1. My immediate thought is that the 'poor tree' was rather on the fortunate side.

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    1. An obtuse comment upon an obtuse poem.

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  2. I'm with Graham, "poor" seems like ironic usage!

    I have a soft spot for trees. I find myself photographing them over and over and over since I started blogging and taking my camera everywhere with me. That is a nice shot, and a fine poem.

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    1. My poem has little to do with trees.

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    2. You are too deep for us, apparently!

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  3. I'm wondering who wrote this poem.

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    1. The blogger known as Yorkshire Pudding (i.e. me!)

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    2. Okay nice poem by the pudding.

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  4. I've heard f a Pear Tree, a Peach Tree and a Plum Tree...but never Poor Tree (I think I might be a branch member).

    I've a Pawpaw tree growing at the side of my cabin!

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    1. A poplar tree, a pine tree... but the finest of all is the poetry.

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    2. I tried hard to groan but I had to laugh.

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    3. And a popular tree is the pine tree maybe that's why the poor tree is sad.

      Perhaps if it had Jac arounda it'd spruce up the area a bit.

      It could also be a tree on the banks of the river Po in Italy....a Po tree.

      All that aside...I'm with Graham the tree is not poor at all, it is a very fortunate tree. It is strong - it's able to branch out, but still remain grounded with its roots set firmly in the soil...and, even more, it's had a poem written about it.

      Well done, Yorkie. :)

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  5. Trees and poems are both quite transient, it seems to me!

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    1. I take your point Steve but a hawthorn tree or a poem with merit can easily outlive anyone who is alive today. Even Planet Earth is transient.

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  6. I thank you for your explanation about "poetry" sounding just the same as "poor tree" because it has opened up new layers of meaning and pleasure to me. In America the word "poor" sounds like "pore" or "poor-er" depending on which part of the country one is in. I should never have made the connection without your kind assistance.

    I am just vain enough to want to think that my poem "An Afternoon Encounter" inspired your phrase "a bleeding sunset" -- as though no one in the whole wide world has ever noticed that similarity before. Vanity, thy name is rhymeswithplague!

    Well done.

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  7. I meant to write pooh-er, not poor-er....

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    1. Now you come to mention it, in Yorkshire we tend to emphasise the vowels in "poor" - whereas in the south they tend to melt away. Perhaps your bleeding sunset was stored in the dusty corridors of my brain.

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    2. Ah, that may explain partly why I did not "get" it; here we say "pore" and "poor tree" reads a bit differently when you are hearing it like that.

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  8. Mmmmm. A complex poem indeed. I read and re-read it and then decided I grasped the last six lines. This would never have happened if you had not written the first paragraph.
    I would have been totally puzzled.

    Alphie

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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