A poet could not but be gay, in such a jo­cund com­pany

The Guardian Weekly - - Diversions -

Why does a cer­tain poem come to mind, so eas­ily and so of­ten?

Be­cause of the mem­o­ries at­tached to it. R De Bra­ganza, Kil­ifi, Kenya

• I’m not sure why cer­tain po­ems come to mind but I am eter­nally grate­ful to my English teach­ers who in­sisted that we learn them by heart, as I have a rich trea­sure trove of po­etry to draw from in my later life. Mar­garet Wilkes, Perth, West­ern Aus­tralia

• The lines of favourite po­ems can emit ver­bal en­dor­phins. Richard Or­lando, West­mount, Que­bec, Canada

• Fa­mil­iar­ity. I or my wife have only to say, “Yes” in a know­ing tone and the other will re­ply, “I re­mem­ber Adle­strop.” Char­lie Bam­forth, Davis, Cal­i­for­nia, US

• For heaven’s sake, don’t tell me what the poem is, or I won’t be able to get it out of my head! Bruce Inkset­ter, Gatineau, Que­bec, Canada

• The poem that comes to my mind most read­ily (es­pe­cially at this time of year) is Wordsworth’s I wan­dered lonely as a cloud (also known as Daf­fodils), prob­a­bly be­cause it was the first poem I was re­quired to learn in el­e­men­tary school! Avril Tay­lor, Dun­das, On­tario, Canada

• Be­cause it rhymes with the times. Ed­ward P Wolfers, Austin­mer, NSW, Aus­tralia • The Lady with the Al­li­ga­tor Purse – an old jump-rope rhyme – was fixed in my mem­ory at about two, prob­a­bly a bath­tub song sung by Mom. It re-emerged at 50. RM Frans­son, Wheat Ridge, Colorado, US

• Be­cause it re­flects life as I per­ceive it. Philip Stig­ger, Burn­aby, Bri­tish Columbia, Canada

• I can never get Ho­race’s Dulce et deco­rum est pro pa­tria mori (“It is sweet and fit­ting to die for your coun­try”) out of my head when I see war pic­tures. It is so dread­fully wrong. Jene­fer Warwick James, Padding­ton, NSW, Aus­tralia

You should ask Big Brother

Is there a dif­fer­ence be­tween ‘Ev­ery­thing which is not com­pul­sory is for­bid­den’ and ‘Ev­ery­thing which is not for­bid­den is com­pul­sory’? The ques­tion could be a good guide to how to­tal­i­tar­ian is the coun­try in which you live. The less of a dif­fer­ence there is, the more you should worry. I am get­ting in­creas­ingly ner­vous for much of the world. David Isaacs, Syd­ney, Aus­tralia

• The first is the to­tal­i­tar­ian prin­ci­ple of pro­hi­bi­tion; the sec­ond is the nat­u­ral prin­ci­ple of plen­i­tude. David Tucker, Halle, Ger­many

• Not sure, ask Big Brother. Pat Phillips, Ade­laide, South Aus­tralia

• I sus­pect that very few peo­ple would care un­less com­pulsed to an­swer. Gil­lian Shen­field, Syd­ney, Aus­tralia

• It is nei­ther com­pul­sory nor for­bid­den to an­swer ques­tions re­quir­ing men­tal gym­nas­tics, but I think I sprained a sy­napse. Mar­garet Wyeth, Vic­to­ria, Bri­tish Columbia, Canada

Bloom­ing mem­o­rable … daf­fodils in po­etry

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.