Saturday, 20 April 2013

Of horses and poetry

When Titch collapsed just before he died (I was on him at the time), I lost a lot of nerve, and it's taken me a while to get it back. But Fairfax (looking cheerful - left) and I had a nice if lively time hacking in the sun this morning. He seems to like being talked to, so having run out of things to say (he's not interested in weather), I decided to recite poetry to him.

When I was at school, we had to learn a lot of poems by heart. I think this is an excellent thing, and children don't seem to do it any more. Anyway, searching the deep recesses of what passes for my brain, I came up with snatches of Tennyson, Wordsworh, Rupert Brooke, Shakespeare, Keats, Houseman etc, but could only remember two whole poems: The Owl and the Pussycat (oh dear), and a very depressing poem about growing old, by Hardy (who else?).

I did sing a bit, but I don't think Fairfax liked that much. Poor animal...

17 comments:

  1. I memorized miles of poetry when I was young, and now can only remember Kipling's Ballad of East and West, along with snatches of other people's poems here and there.
    Reciting poetry to Fairfax is probably a great way of bonding. Too bad he didn't enjoy your singing, but I understand, because nobody enjoys my singing.
    K

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  2. I can remember the things I chose to learn - Hamlet-s soliloquy (even though we didn't study Hamlet) and quite a bit of Belloc. My old school chums seem to remember stuff better than me - but I can never, never never remember my own poems all e way through so ave to perform from the page - very frustrating!

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    1. Oh, yes! I forgot about Belloc. I know most of the one about Jim (who got eaten by a lion). Must try that on Fairfax next time.

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  3. Could be you just picked the wrong song. Try singing A Four Legged Friend. It worked for Roy Rogers.

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    1. Wasn't that one about a dog? He mightn't like that. Hes not a fan of dogs.

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  4. So much of riding is about cadence, poetry makes perfect sense to me. I would offer The Owl and the Pussy Cat, The Walrus and the Carpenter and The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers (which can also be sung and is fun, fun, fun, fun fun!)

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    1. I did manage part of the Walrus and the Carpenter, but foundered when the Walrus shed his bitter tear ;(

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  5. I wish they still taught children to learn poetry in school. I'm sure it's good for the soul. I've always found it soothing. And also good for horses.

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  6. I had to learn an epistle and a collect every couple of weeks when I was a very littly at school. I can still remember bits of those. They come in useful sometimes. I love (some) poetry but have a remarkable forgettory and my ability to recite whole verses (never mind whole poems) is nil except, when I'm on form, for Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky. No long car journey with Scriptor is complete without a rendition during which, between us, we can usually succeed.

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  7. Funnily enough, I did give him a bit of Jabberwocky, but I'd forgotten the bit in the middle. Wonderful poem, that.

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  8. Do you also find that you can't learn anything new? An old song will come on the radio, and I know every word. Not so good on poetry though. Fairfax looks very handsome.

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    1. I haven't tried learning anything new by heart for years, Maggie.

      Fairfax says thank you very much (he's a polite horse).

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  9. We learned some poetry at school, but nowhere near as much as my parents did when they were school kids, or my grandparents.

    A good method of talking to Fairfax, and at the same time keeping the poems fresh in your mind!
    You could, of course, discuss your blog posts with him. Or your books, and what you're working on at the time.

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