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Poetry Corner July 2022

As I did not post in June I have two poems to offer this month. One is weather related … if you were wondering why we are having such a dry summer, blame St Swithin (or St Swithun).

St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain

For forty days it will remain

St Swithun’s day if thou be fair

For forty days ‘twill rain nae mare.

St Swithin’s day is the 15th July so can we expect another 26 days of dry weather? Well I suppose ancient myths are one way to provide a forecast but I think the “Met” Office has moved on.

My second poem is not about the weather for a change, it’s a description of a phenomenon I am seeing quite a lot of at the moment … the flight of the cabbage white butterfly. It’s by Robert Graves and it’s called “Flying Crooked”

The butterfly, the cabbage-white,

(His honest idiocy of flight)

Will never now, it is too late,

Master the art of flying straight,

Yet has – who knows so well as I? -

A just sense of how not to fly:

He lurches here and here by guess

And God and hope and hopelessness.

Even the acrobatic swift

Has not his flying crooked gift.

The way that Graves turns an apparently random and barely controlled flight pattern in to a talent to be envied is delightful and perhaps we could all do with looking at ourselves and each other with such kind eyes.

We have many cabbage-white’s in our garden but perhaps because of their crooked flight I have not managed to get a “snap” of one. Instead I offer this summery photo of a crooked path cut in to the chalk in Avebury which so many of us follow when wandering around those fascinating stones.

- Submitted by Gail Gibson-Piggot, WFWI Trustee


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