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This blessed plot - complete

Tuesday, 4 September 2012 15:13:02

Tuesday, 4 September 2012 15:13:02

Giving it a name seemed right - anchoring it in reality:

 

This Hardy’s Field, this noble acreage,

Set back from traffic on the village edge,

This blessed plot, this earth, this darksome soil,
This teeming site of runner beans and spuds:
An island built with nature by us all
Against wild weeds and rough encroaching scrub;
This happy breed of beans, these little worms,
These little stones set in the earthy loam:
All these that serve in the office of a home
From home, defensive ‘gainst vegetables

Shrink-wrapped or cased in polystyrene foam

And envy of less happy gardeners,

Where we who work here share the same intent:

In planting, sowing, reaping, find content.

 



This blessed plot - final couplet

Sunday, 5 August 2012 14:30:32

Sunday, 5 August 2012 14:30:32

 

This blessed plot, this earth, this darksome soil
This teeming site of runner beans and spuds
An island built with nature by us all
Against wild weeds and rough encroaching scrub;
This happy breed of beans, these little worms,
These little stones set in the earthy loam:
All these that serve in the office of a home
From home, defensive gainst the supermarkets

And envy of less happy gardeners...

So all who work here share the same intent:

In planting, sowing, reaping, find content.

Just need a couple of lines between 'gardeners' and 'So'.

 



This blessed plot 5

Friday, 27 July 2012 14:44:16

Friday, 27 July 2012 14:44:16

So....

This blessed plot, this earth, this darksome soil
This teeming site of runner beans and spuds
An island built with nature by us all
Against wild weeds and rough encroaching scrub;
This happy breed of beans, these little worms,
These little stones set in the earthy loam:
All these that serve in the office of a home
From home, defensive gainst the supermarkets
 
And envy of less happy gardeners...

I have the following lines to work on. There's a lot of repetition - a bit too much for my purpose, I think.  I shall put this in my thinking tray and come to some conclusion by this time next week!


This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leas’d out,—I die pronouncing it,—

Like to an allotment or shared growing space

And all who grow here do share the same endeavour
To plant sow and reap in harmony

England, bound in with the triumphant sea,



Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:46:13

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:46:13

This blessed plot, this earth, this darksome soil
This teeming site of runner beans and spuds
An island built with nature by us all
Against wild weeds and rough encroaching scrub;
This happy breed of beans, these little worms,
These little stones set in the earthy loam:
All these that serve in the office of a home
From home, defensive gainst the --------- (supermarkets? obesity? scurvy?)
And envy of less happy gardeners...

You'll see I've forced myself into making some decisions.

I know most of you will be away from school now - but I have to carry on working on this.  What should come next? A neat way to finish, preferably.

 



This blessed plot 3

Wednesday, 18 July 2012 17:33:39

Wednesday, 18 July 2012 17:33:39

So, tidying up these ideas, we get:

> This blessed plot, this earth, this loam, this ---

> This teeming site of runner beans and shallots

> An island built with nature for ourselves / by us all

> Against wild weeds and --- encroaching scrub

and then on to the happy breed etc.

 



This blessed plot 2

Thursday, 12 July 2012 12:32:28

Thursday, 12 July 2012 12:32:28

At the moment I’m not worried about repetition, just getting some ideas down which echo the original, e.g.

This happy breed of men, this little world,                     

= This happy breed of beans, this little worm

This precious stone set in the silver sea,                         

= This little stone set in the earthy loam

Which serves it in the office of a wall,                              

= Which serves it in the office of a home

Or as a moat defensive to a house,                                   

= Or nursery, defensive gainst the …???

Against the envy of less happier lands,                           

= and envy of less happy gardens

I love the way Shakespeare breaks the ‘rules’ by writing less happier. Tut tut!  Our national treasure needs a good telling off from Ofsted. 

 



This blessed plot...

Wednesday, 11 July 2012 9:26:50

Wednesday, 11 July 2012 9:26:50

Having watched the excellent BBC production of Richard II I was reminded of Gaunt’s famous ‘sceptered isle’ speech in relation to the allotments on the edge of our village.

‘This blessed plot, this earth…’ was the impetus.  I enjoy parody, pastiche and homages to greater poems as you will know if you’ve followed the blog over the months and years.  So this seems a good time to work from the speech towards a poem in praise of the allotments.

I start with

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,     

Of which the first part can stay:  This blessed plot, this earth, this loam, this ---

It continues:

This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,              

And I like the idea of teeming, though there is an unavoidable bathos in ‘This teeming site of runner beans and ---‘

Earlier in the speech we have:  ‘This fortress built by Nature for herself / Against infection and the hand of war’ which will fit the theme in some way – e.g.  this garden built with Nature by us all / against wild grass and scrub… (though wild weeds might be better).

(Not ‘gainst infection – too much infection by slugs etc so not a happy thought.)



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