Saturday, 12 November 2011

Gearing up for the Guild

Currently the Preston Poets Society are working on a book of poetry, which will contain  many different styles and many different poets. This is being produced for next year which is the Preston Guild year. Preston Guild (for anyone unfamiliar) is a celebration which is now held every 20 years and has been held since 833 years ago. In 1179 Preston was granted a Guild Merchant by Henry II. The Guild controlled trade in the town and so the list of members had to be updated from time to time. This was also the time for celebration.
Although later on there was free trade in the town the Guild survived because of the social occasion which continues to this day or in fact next year! I will let you know when there is an update on the book, also more details on the Guild and events etc can be found here.

Also I have written up a little article on my other blog about Preston being European City of Sport next year. This along with my running poem that I had already posted can be found here.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Remembrance Day

Here is a poem by Robert W Service who was born in Preston. It is from his book called Rhymes from a Red Cross Man.    It was written in memory of his brother who was killed in action in France in 1916.

Our Hero by Robert W Service

"Flowers, only flowers — bring me dainty posies,
Blossoms for forgetfulness," that was all he said;
So we sacked our gardens, violets and roses,
Lilies white and bluebells laid we on his bed.
Soft his pale hands touched them, tenderly caressing;
Soft into his tired eyes came a little light;
Such a wistful love-look, gentle as a blessing;
There amid the flowers waited he the night.

"I would have you raise me; I can see the West then:
I would see the sun set once before I go."
So he lay a-gazing, seemed to be at rest then,
Quiet as a spirit in the golden glow.
So he lay a-watching rosy castles crumbling,
Moats of blinding amber, bastions of flame,
Rugged rifts of opal, crimson turrets tumbling;
So he lay a-dreaming till the shadows came.

"Open wide the window; there's a lark a-singing;
There's a glad lark singing in the evening sky.
How it's wild with rapture, radiantly winging:
Oh it's good to hear that when one has to die.
I am horror-haunted from the hell they found me;
I am battle-broken, all I want is rest.
Ah! It's good to die so, blossoms all around me,
And a kind lark singing in the golden West.

"Flowers, song and sunshine, just one thing is wanting,
Just the happy laughter of a little child."
So we brought our dearest, Doris all-enchanting;
Tenderly he kissed her; radiant he smiled.
"In the golden peace-time you will tell the story
How for you and yours, sweet, bitter deaths were ours. . . .
God bless little children!" So he passed to glory,
So we left him sleeping, still amid the flow'rs.