A few more thoughts have come in from the Candlestick Chapter about Ten Poems About Friendship and I really wanted to share them with you. Bookhound and I had a lovely moment earlier this week when Kate from Cheshire (who comments here) and her husband John came to visit. They had been staying nearby, and we had met before but it was a wonderful surprise in the midst of what is feeling like a very loooooooooooong February. It made me think about 'friendship' in all its guises and that, for all that many of you who leave a comment here may not have met, it always feels like a place for friendship, but as Fran suggests, we keep feet in the real world too.
Here are Cath's ...
How can I not think of Ella when reading Ten Poems About Friendship? Ella, the quiet kind woman I met studying at evening university many years ago. We were seated next to each other in the auditorium and our very first conversation felt as if we had been friends forever.
Several poems in this beautiful booklet reflect phases in our long friendship. Form Stevie Smith’s lovely ‘The Pleasures of Friendship’, Jackie Kay’s ‘ Fiere in the Middle’ , May Sarton’s ‘Friendship and Illness’ to Derek Walcott’s ‘ Sea Canes’ as she passed away too young, too soon. Yet she is often in my thoughts while reading and I am certain she would have loved this booklet.
Lorraine Mariner did a very good job selecting the poems. I very much like her choices. I think she really deserves a short introduction below her introductory words.
I've read "Ten Poems on Friendship" with great delight, and recognition of friendship in all its forms and at different stages of life, something which the compiler, Lorraine Mariner, of the anthology says that she was trying to do.For me, most of the poems have something to offer. Stevie Smith's The Pleasures of Friendship sums everything up in four short lines. Lorraine Mariner's own poem, "Inventory" explores the exigencies of friendship on social media, on Facebook in particular. She shows how Facebook can be both a friendly place and also lonely and impersonal and addictive at the same time. It also shows how Facebook"Fiere in the Middle" by Jackie Kay, shows how friendship ebbs and flows and how friends help each other at different times and in different ways. May Sarton's poem, "Friendship and Illness" shows how friends, the people they are, and the particular relationship, stay with us to comfort us at very difficult times. On the other hand, Aiden Nowlan's poem "Friends" shows how we want to have one or two special friends on call and readily available when we feel lonely or feeling low.The best poem in the collection for me, is the last one: "Friendship" by Elizabeth Jennings is the best poem. Twelve short lines which capture how friendship is about gentleness, understanding, trust, respect and awe. "These are the words I'm feeling for".This is a wonderful collection of poems. There is plenty to savour, and much room for thought - a joy to read and to come back to. A wonderful gift and thank you for allowing me to be a member of this group.
Strangely the two poems Lorraine singled out are the two which spoke oldest to me. Especially the longer one. In March I and my school friends will have five days in Lisbon. Each year we try to spend time together. This year is our 64 as friends. We met aged 12. There were four of us but Pat died two years ago. But friendship goes on we often speak of her.All the poems have something to say about friendship. Stevie Smith is always so succinct. She deserves more renown than she has.With these booklets I'd always have to buy two. One to send and one to keep for myself.
A heartwarming collection summing up what true friendship can be.Stevie Smith so succinct in just four lines; The Pleasures of Friendship.Gossip by Emily Wills bought back to me vivid memories of falling in and out with 'best friends' when at Junior school.Now I listen to the same woes about friends from the nine year old I care for. Some things never change!Inventory, Lorraine Mariner brings it right up to date with her statistics of Facebook friends. The way "friendship" has changed in this digital world, yet reminding us to keep part of ourselves in the real world.And that real world came right back with the very next poem Friends.The way the poems have been put together; as described in the introduction as " as a journey through a lifetime of friendship" shows how much thought is put into each of these pamphlets. On the surface just a collection, yet something to be kept and returned to over and over again. Reading poems I doubt I would have discovered otherwise is a joy. Taking just one subject and exploring it this way has given me much food for thought.