Poetic Justice and a Child’s World

| March 2, 2009

Poetry and storybooks give the imagination space to roam in a way computers never will, for adults & children alike.

The imagery in a poem especially, of flowers, stimulates the faculty of an adult’s imagination much like the reading of a bedtime story does a child’s. Below is an excerpt from one of my favourites: lines 78-93, Acon and Rhodope; or Inconstancy, by Walter Savage Landor:

            The day was hot;
            The moss invited him; it cool’d his cheek,
            It cool’d his hands; he thrust them into it
            And sank to slumber. Never was there dream
            Divine as his. He saw the Hamadryad.
            She took him by the arm and led him on
            Along a valley, where profusely grew
            The smaller lilies with their pendent bells,
            And, hiding under mint, chill drosera,
            The violet shy of butting cyclamen,
            The feathery fern, and, browser of moist banks,
            Her offspring round her, the soft strawberry;
            The quivering spray of ruddy tamarisk,
            The oleander’s light-hair’d progeny
            Breathing bright freshness in each other’s face,
            And graceful rose, bending her brow, with cup

Assured by the presence of his/her mother and her sonorous voice, as soothing as a lullaby itself, the stage is set with the security and comfort that allows the child to be soon transported to his world of dreams. Lifting off from the pleasing pretty pastel colours in the painted flora on the pages of the story book (no photographs won’t do); and using that palette to run riot in the freedom of his own imagination full of childish whims. Next morning when he is awake, he is rearing to go outdoors, carrying the pleasant excitement of his dreams, to the real world of garden, butterflies and flower beds.

There is the fresh air to breathe and equally fresh smell of the earth itself!

Do you feel like that when you come out of a "self-immersion” in a world of descriptive poetry specially about nature’ s phenomena? Do you feel like going outdoors, for a walk, for a spin in your car, or over to your window to peek at the skies or garden?


Would you instead feel more satisfied by photographs, TV, computer images or home and garden magazines depicting the beauty and bounty of nature in a "pictorial"?  If so you would be setting a bad example for your children. In the past it was the TV set that turned you into a couch potato. Now in addition to that, the computer turns people into "geeks" and ”addicts”. These terms are not in vain. They are facts. Children become so "addicted" to computer games that they can turn into ”monsters”. It would be a good thing if Child Care clinics had access to psychologists to help deal with the ensuing behavioral problems.

Of course, you do still occasionally see youth cycling or playing outdoors, albeit usually enjoying music with Walkmans. Some mobile phones have a feature which enables the child to take pictures outdoors, that is a good pastime; I would like to recommend more of it.

Most of Enid Blyton’s stories include thrilling secret places, which form the basis of fascination with her stories. In my childhood there storybooks were a gateway to a ”secret culture”.  Kids had secret crannies at home, school, in the outdoors and their imagination. I wonder if such a culture is under threat now? Of course parents should "monitor" what children are up to on the computer. They should ‘monitor’ the ”secret” places too, without offending the child. Just for safety and prevention.

If all the safety belts are in position for children in the family car, it isn’t a bad idea if they get "immersed” in the performance of their ”handhelds”. But then who is going to look out of the window when you drive past beautiful scenery?

The bad effects of computer and mobile phones on children’ s posture and ”brain tissues” is well known. Parents should be firm with them, explain why they are firm, and inculcate the good habit of striking a balance between rest and activities; encouraging a good sense for-a time for everything!  I strongly advocate computers to get their ‘homework done. If a child finds arithmetic and science, boring or difficult then computers can help make it fun. Let them explore all the subjects for their classroom assignments, from the internet. Let them compile a long list of poems to read aloud and learn by heart, and then get it streaming on their mp3s!!

This blog was inspired by the poetry of Walter Savage Landor. You can read some of his poetry here (http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/display/indexpoet.html) or here ( http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/display/indextitle.html)   Or find out more about his life here (http://www.swansea.gov.uk/) or at wikipedia.


Yes, I remember Adlestrop —

Edward Thomas:Poet (1878-1917)




2The name, because one afternoon
3Of heat the express-train drew up there
4Unwontedly. It was late June.
5The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
6No one left and no one came
7On the bare platform. What I saw
8Was Adlestrop — only the name



And willows, willow-herb, and grass,



And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
11No whit less still and lonely fair
12Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
13And for that minute a blackbird sang
14Close by, and round him, mistier,
15Farther and farther, all the birds
16Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
About A Need For Quiet Surroundings(Inspired by the above poem)
"Quiet-esque".This word a blend made up of two words quiet and picturesque, produces a peculiarly calm effect on the mind. A big solitary dewdrop on a leaf, that is what a quiet place is like; magnifying the infrastructure but standing apart from the rest of it like a transparent bead impelling one to gaze into its beautiful stillness.
Nowadays who does not yearn for quiet. The need for quiet is super magnified in our modern millenium times.Adlestrop belonged to these times——around 1914,but the need for quiet is not changed even an ounce’.Perhaps because the author had residence at Petersfield for sometime.And this was "an ancient market town.""Set in the glorious countryside of the South Downs, Petersfield is an ancient market town originally built as a Norman ‘new town’ at the end of the 11th Century." We all know how the noise, dust, crowds of animals and men can jar the whole nerve embodiment, especially if it belongs to the sensitive soul of a writer or poet.One can only think that immediate escape from such a place is the only immediate remedy.And if followed by a visit to a place like Adlestrop it can prove to be a panacea for nervous maladies.No wonder the poet jotted down the timeless description "extraordinary silence".Then at leisure put down the flavor of cool and at peace mind still savoring the pleasure of an unusual quiet treat.
In this modern world the" huff huff" of the engine that brought the poet to that platform in the first place, has been replaced largely by diesel or electricity.Among the many micro devices capable of producing high frequency noise, hummings and shrieking,there are gigantic machines too which can make cantankerous noises that would put the old huff-huff to shame.We appreciate the need for quiet as never before but the way we put up with it too!! Like nobody’ s business.O sure we degrade noise by calling it a pollution but really we cannot do much about it by calling it names!
Adlestrop is now a closed station. If you love such places you would be pleased to know there are railway enthusiasts across the globe in thousands.And vintage engines, railway stations, obsolete tracks and all are possessed by their "ardency".
One of the ways you can immortalise a treasured architecture even if it is closed down is to take photographs.There are sites which show you how to do outdoor photography step by step. Like; www.articlesbase.com/digital-photography-articles/nature-photography-tips-903606.html. Also they give you good tips about how to get the best shots of buildings and landmarks.In this instance (re;the poem Adlestrop)it is the view from platform,and beyond- the blackbird populated surroundings.Here are some of the tips I find useful. " -a)Before you go into an area, read up on what kinds of animals and birds are commonly found there.
-b)I cannot believe how many times I’ve watched people walk right by wildlife without noticing them.
-c)In the wild, telephoto lenses are basically a must. This brings you in a little closer without scaring the animals. The use of a is not always mandatory, if you have enough light you will be able to shoot at a fast shutter speed to eliminate shake. Some telephoto lens have vibration reduction technology but are considerably more expensive.
-d)The best times of the day for viewing and photographing wildlife are early in the mornings and just before dark. This is when wildlife is usually most active and the light is the most dramatic." For more visit this;http://www.articlesbase.com/authors/dan-feildman/134841
If it is the stark scenario that you would rather.Then look up this site and you will get an idea of how best to snap isolated places like Adlestrop.http://www.flickr.com/photos/gertcha/3665433252/meta/
AND Taking Movies Of Trains With A Digital Camera


· "For rail enthusiasts, photography has reached a new and exciting level. Instead of going out and taking pictures of trains, we can now go out and take videos of trains where they can be e-mailed all over the world. The digital camera has become the railfan’s best friend out on the high iron."
· By: · Bob Carper l · Technology > · Electronics l Nov 21, 2007 l Views: 326 http://www.secure-webconference.citymax.com
Of course one can always go a little further and suggest the quiet place you like and want to be saved, to the world heritage list.And of course you can join any campaign to keep the noise down.If so then you must read this by visiting here;
http://springbluff.com.au/index.html (historic station)queensLand.
EXCERPTS;"On 25 February 1864, the construction of the Ipswich-Toowoomba line commenced with the turning of the first sod by the Governor’s wife Lady Bowen at North Ipswich.
In February 1890, the station was renamed Spring Bluff by Railway Commissioner Gray who had a partiality for the area. The station served as an outlet ………..for… dairy and other produce for the Highfields area. It played an integral role in community life and after the construction of a dance hall in 1907 was an important centre for social activities.
In 1913, the station handled more than 5500 passengers. Today, the passing of steam trains and the introduction of the centralised traffic control system has brought down the curtain on Spring Bluff as an operational station. The station was decommissioned in August 1992, and the ganger and fettler crew withdrawn in September 1993. The importance of the station was recognised by the National Trust of Queensland which listed the Main Range Railway on its Register in March 1994".
THIS WAS THE STORY of how important railway stations end up like ADLESTROP.Sad but true.
from /edo/tourism.nsf/webpages/petersfield Microsoft /edo/tourism.nsf/
ABOUT the plants mentioned in the poem. 


Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)
a tall, erect perennial from rhizome-like roots; stems usually unbranched, growing 30 cm to 2 metres tall, even to 3 m.



in a long, dense, terminal spike; individual flowers large (about 2 cm across), showy, with 4 magenta (rarely white) petals; lowest flowers opening first; appearing in later stages of summer.
Stems used for thread or fibre, young shoots as a nutritious vegetable (high in Vitamins A and C). Fireweed is an early colonizer of burned and disturbed areas. It was one of the first plants to appear in bomb sites during the London Blitz of World War II.

– (L.)Maxim.


Author(L.)Maxim.Botanical references17, 200FamilyRosaceaeGenusFilipendulaSynonymsSpiraea ulmaria – L.






Robert Frost (1874-1963)

After Apple Picking

1My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
2Toward heaven still,
3And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
4Beside it, and there may be two or three
5Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
6But I am done with apple-picking now.
7Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
8The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
9I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
10I got from looking through a pane of glass
11I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
12And held against the world of hoary grass.
13It melted, and I let it fall and break.
14But I was well
15Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
16And I could tell
17What form my dreaming was about to take.
18Magnified apples appear and disappear,
19Stem end and blossom end,
20And every fleck of russet showing clear.
21My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
22It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
23I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
24And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
25The rumbling sound
26Of load on load of apples coming in.
27For I have had too much
28Of apple-picking: I am overtired
29Of the great harvest I myself desired.
30There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
31Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
32For all
33That struck the earth,
34No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
35Went surely to the cider-apple heap
36As of no worth.
37One can see what will trouble
38This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
39Were he not gone,

41Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
42Or just some human sleep.
This "pome" about pome(botanical nom for the apple) brings to the reader the unvitiated atmosphere of orchards, which serves to accent the purity and freshness of the fruits’ and flowers’ heady odours.It is a pleasure to read Robert Frost’ s experience of this labor of love,for indeed he wanted to do it himself, the picking of apples at ripe harvest-" 27For I have had too much
28Of apple-picking: I am overtired
29Of the great harvest I myself desired."
And then the saturation point reached when he would pick no more;heavily weighed down by the sweetest waves of sleep.Sleep which rewarded his desired hardwork, with promises of dreams, the dreams he himself could predict.A sleep which promised not only the deep feel of restful pleasure, but also in measure to his hard work, the length as of a winter’s sleep which a forest creature like a woodchuck goes into, with abandoned care and huddles into security ordained by dame Nature. AHHH! A LONG, DEEP sleep full of sweet dreams!!
Can many afford such a luxury of thought, in the present day!Robert not only had inspiration from the heavily laden beauteous orchard but also wanted to share with liberal flair the work experience he had had the time for, for his poetry lovers.
Orchards in the present millenium are fast dissappearing causing alarm to the nature lovers!!
Apple trees need cross-pollination to thrive.Just imagine if the animal vectors are destroyed due to pollution, what will happen to the fruit? As it is bees are endangered.For that is another story.
Here is a website to visit- http://www.how-to-draw-and-paint.com/apples-in-oil.html/ to indulge in a pastime which simply teaches you to preserve the look of the variety of apples your favorit to eat, before they dissappear into oblivion.
Also this website- http://www.tree-pictures.com/apple_tree_photos.html/ shows you variety of apple trees, with information about them, so that you are inspired to take snap of them whenever you happen to pass by them in the countryside.


Canadian Poetry UTELThe woodchuck could say whether it’s like his



  1. Douglascomms

    March 3, 2009 at 12:29 am

    In suport of poetry

    oh foggy, I do so enjoy your blogs.

    I have found poetry a fundamental teaching tool, especially when it comes to teaching English to kids from a non-English speaking backgrounds.

    The role of phrasing in learning to speak and write fluently is often overlooked by native speakers. This is because native speakers learn phrasing from nursery rhymes and kids songs, and the more engagement they have with good literature the more fluent they become.

    In a worst case scenario advertising jingles will fill the gap, I say worst case because advertising jingles fulfil the rhyming and rhythmic requirements, but are usually a base and impoverished form of expression. Native speakers don’t consciously learn these, we pick them up from our environment.

    Non-native speakers, or kids who are being raised to speak one language at home and another at school face a significant gap in terms of phrasing and I’ve found poetry a great way to bridge this gap.

    If you want to speak and write beautifully, expose yourself to beautiful speaking and writing, and in all languages poetry is the area where this beauty is most highly concentrated.

    Why is this important? Purely from a career perspective, fluent written and spoken expression is important in most professional roles. In some it is crucial.

    I have yet to meet a lawyer who can’t quote at least a few stanzas of poetry, and find a love of poetry common place amongst good journalists and professional writers.

    While mathematics is the currency of areas like engineering, medicine and the sciences, and the intellectual building blocks of our physical infrastructure, our laws and the our civic infrastructure on which we all depend is in turn dependent on language.

    In short – I agree, poetry is fundamental to our capacity to express ourselves, and I am humbled by your capacity to express your love of poetry so with such enthusiasm and passion.

  2. foggy

    March 5, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    role of rhyme and reason

    Dear Douglascomms

    Thank you for such a big encouragement.i was feeling complacent about openforum.com.au giving me a quiet niche,to make a blogalbum of the topics i like.but it is not as lonely as i thought.thanks once again for saying that you enjoy my blogs and your warm appreciation of the works of Selected poets i like writing about.
    That is a good point you brought up.phrasing.down memory lane, i reach my school days and find how much we used to enjoy the English language exercises, when our teacher used to let us freely think of phrases to write.it spurred our imagination.golden Spurs!!then the importance of poetry.it does help one focus on words that describe an image!Picturesqueness!rhyme is easy to pick up and remember.it is easy the memory retention of an "idea picture".
    Yes, children have a brilliance of flawless depiction of TV commercial jingles, complete with actions depicting the precise qualities of the product being jingled about!and that too they can perform in a 'duet', with  perfection, in just one spontaneous show, which would for adults come only after a bout of thorough practise!no wonder rhymes and poetry have been used in Remedial therapy to help dyslexic children, with their phonics to read and speak better.i think it worthwhile if we would use it more to instruct English language/literature lessons to those whose mother tongue is not english.for shorter and more intense, effective courses specially.i am sure they will lov to hear their own tapes again and again.

    • foggy

      April 29, 2009 at 8:13 am

      An Ecologist and The Poet


      Walter Savage Landor loved gardens. Both Walter Savage Landor and Elizabeth Barrett Browning loved poetry and loved gardens. Seven years ago here all was dead, grey, ugly, from weed-killer. The more I read and the more I listened I learned that this so-called ‘English’ Cemetery had been a famous and most lovely garden. In Ireland once I saw a poetry garden. This hill can again become such a garden for poets and for ourselves. Now, thanks to Katherine Goldsmith of The Ecologist and to Dott. Vieri Torrigiani Malaspina of the Giardino Torrigiani, the wild strawberries have returned, the box hedge is restored and three pomegranates grace our three famous poets’ graves. In a sense gardens and poems are human constructs married to nature, not violating her but seeking instead to heal and woo her into loveliness, into gracefulness, into fruitfulness.

  3. foggy

    May 10, 2009 at 4:07 am


     Here are some really interesting facts about the flowers you have read in the above poem.You will feel like preserving these beauties on the face of this earth or you might opt to save the poem and the other poems that similarly seek to preserve the beautiful bossoms till eternity. 


    The genus Cyclamen resides in the Primulaceae family. This same family is home to about 20-30 genera such as Primula (primroses), Dodecatheon (shooting stars) and Lysimachia (loosetrife.) Depending on who you talk to, there are currently thought to be 19 species of Cyclamen, their range extending from France east to the Caucasus Mountains. Turkey and Greece seem to have the largest populations and greatest diversity. 
    In its native habitat the Cyclamen is an endangered plant. Centuries of collecting from the wild have decimated populations and the Cyclamen is now protected by CITES. CITES is the Congress on International Trade in Endangered Species. It is a worldwide body set up to protect not only plants, but animals that are in danger of extinction. It is illegal to import or export Cyclamen to or from any cooperating country without a CITES permit. 

    Drosera also known as sundew

    The more difficult species of sundews are also cultivated by a group of several thousand carnivorous plant enthusiasts world wide; virtually every species can be found in cultivation. Since many sundew species are only found in small numbers in a very limited range in the wild, several species have been threatened by aggressive collection of plant material for cultivation[citation needed].

    The corms of the tuberous sundews native to Australia are considered a delicacy by the Australian Aborigines.[23] Some of these corms were also used to dye textiles,[24] while another purple or yellow dye was traditionally prepared in the Scottish Highlands using D. rotundifolia.[25] A sundew liqueur is also still produced using a recipe that has its roots in the 14th century. It is made using fresh leaves from mainly D. capensis, D. spatulata, and D. rotundifolia.[24]


    The genus Tamarix (tamarisk, salt cedar) comprises about 50-60 species of flowering plants in the family Tamaricaceae, native to drier areas of Eurasia and Africa.
    Tamarix in North America

    The Tamarix was introduced to the United States as an ornamental shrub, a windbreak, and a shade tree in the early 1800s. In the 1930s, during The Great Depression, tree-planting was used as a tool to fight soil erosion on the Great Plains, and the trees were planted by the millions.

  4. foggy

    October 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    more of the poet’ s residences


    Here is a poem I would like you to savour,if not for its own sake then for the missive it declares.Let me make it quite clear here, the above title is not the title of this poem.
    1I strove with none, for none was worth my strife:
    2 Nature I loved, and, next to Nature, Art:
    3I warm’d both hands before the fire of Life;
    4 It sinks; and I am ready to depart.
    After reading this poem,you must be wondering who/what was not worth somebody’ s strife?And who loved Nature and next to nature, Art?Surely you do not have to be a philosopher to love Nature and Art.So now I will tell you what the title of this poem is; "Dying Speech of an Old Philosopher"
    This poem is by Walter Savage Landor(internet,Timeline RPO).Among the several places he resided at there are Abbey and Monmouthshire.These places are in Wales(UK).The region is rich in both nature and art.It is easy to see that art flourishes with nature’ s lavish backdrop.A lot is being done to preserve nature through art in this region.For instance Art Photography,featuring Celtic images is prevalent in galleries.It takes the viewer to times before those of the poet 1775-1864 and after, to times now and here.Scenic art in Welsh paintings, has the site filled with interesting and rich paintings reflecting the character of the land and the people who work and live on it.marybradleyarts.co.uk/link-partners.html
    Nature captured through art would not be complete without a peep into digital Photography and digital imaging in South east Wales UK.They display Maritime remembrance art and Caerphilly castle and many more against the typical scenario.www.redbubble.com/