I often read poetry, often in the bath, so this is the first of an occasional series sharing with you my discoveries. I often read them aloud, which for some reason seems to aid my understanding and stress the rhythm of the language.
My first poem is by Robert Graves [1895-1985] a writer known in the UK for his First World War poems and his war memoir Goodbye to All That. His novel I, Claudius won literary prizes and has been turned into numerous television series and films. Graves [below] was Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1961-1966. My favourite is ‘Lost Acres’. Because of copyright restrictions I am unable to reproduce the poem in full, but please search it out in an anthology or at your local library.
These acres, always again lost
By every new ordnance-survey
And searched for at exhausting cost
Of time and thought, are still away.
This makes me think of rural Yorkshire where I grew up in The Sixties, roaming the fields free to explore, never thinking about lines on a map or county boundaries.
For more about this collection of Graves’ poems, click here.
‘Selected Poems’ by Robert Graves [faber and faber]