Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Land Girl Poetry

I have been known, in my time, to jot a spot of poetry. However, I would not want to lose friends and allienate people by tippy-tappy-typing it out for all to see. Oh no. I shall leave it where it is -  in a special book, on a special shelf at the top of a locked wardrobe. Its much safer there. Out of sight, out of mind.

I am here to waffle about a wonderful  recent edition to my "Aged Book" collection. When I used to live near Glastonbury, the big book shop at the bottom of the highstreet was by one of my favourite potterments. Wandering and wondering about the books on the creaking shelves was a perfect way for me to escape. And right up at the top of the store, there was a really old book section. I love books that have a name in the front, scribbled in ink in some unimaginably perfect handwritting, dedicated and dated. I have gathered many a book from there, the oldest being a 1909 copy of The Tempest. Alas, the shop closed down in the mid 00's, which I think is a great loss to the town.

Hence the upcoming trip to Hey-on-Wye -  I need an "old tome" fix. Thankfully I do not have to travel all the way way to Wales each time I get a musty book itch -  as EBay has been known to come to the rescue. And this is where the below gem surfaced from.

It is not inscribed. But it is rare. And it is green. And, most importantly, it is for Land Girls, by Land Girls. With a forward by Vita Sackville-West and poetry by women from all over the country at various points during the war -  it is one of my favourite books. I possibly paid over the odds for it -  but I don't care. It stands as a testement to their personal experiences and I am so pleased I lurked for it!!

And on such an Autumnal (ooh how I love that word!) I thought that I would share a little snippet with you all. It makes me think of days like today, when it is so lovely outside. And yet, 70 years ago, the world I love to emulate, was a different place all together. I have quoted 2 major stanzas of the poem..

October 1940
By Audrey Hewlett
East Sussex

October, with the magic of her brush,
Has washed the landscape with a thousand hues;
The grasses in the bog are green and lush,
And rosy berries cheer the sombre Yews.
The dusk falls gently as flake of snow
And silently -  until a fearful sound
With moanings fills the air that louder grow
And shatter all the peace above, around
The wailing siren with its message dread,
Is heralding the enemies of the Right,
Whose monsters come to claim their living bread
And make a phantom of the quiet night.

Makes you think, doesn't it?


  1. The book sounds fascinating, and the poem you finished with is very evocative. I have to admit I am not very good at reading poetry, but I really like this.

  2. What a great find. A very eloquent poem. I confess I sometimes used to write poetry too, but nowadays there are more people writing it than reading it unfortunately!

  3. I had not thought about it that way! I do not read enough poetry - but used to ALOT when I was younger. I even had a favourite poet who I could quote. Gone are those days I fear!

  4. It certainly does. What an excellent book. Though I have to agree with Lady Cherry...hardly anyone I know reads poetry. I read it all the time when I was at school and college...went off it a bit and now I can't put it down. I'm falling in love with Ted Hughes and Milton again at the moment! Must be the season.
    I love going to Hay-on-Wye...we used to live quite near there before coming South. I grew up not so far from it too and all the English trips at school involved going there to buy books! Bliss! xxx

  5. What a great book that is, and a great poem too. I like a bit of poetry every now and again but am useful when it comes to writing any!


I'd love to hear what you think so feel free to comment away!


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