I’ve been thinking of posting something specific each day just so my blogs are regularly updated, but it’s hard trying to decide on topics that won’t get old, i.e. that I won’t lose interest in very quickly and eventually find a chore – although if that happens, I guess I could just change the topic.
Anyway, I thought I’d post a poem on this my blog every Thursday, so here goes:
This one is something I first came across in Antonia Forest’s End of Term. Forest is one of my favourite writers and my all-time favourite author of boarding school books. I first encountered her Kingscote School in Autumn Term, the first of twelve books about a family called Marlow (two of these books are set in Elizabethan times, but the rest are post-World War II, and four are set in the school, while the others during various term holidays).
In End of Term, the series’ main protagonist character, Nicola, spends one day during half-term break riding (on horseback) from her home in the countryside to the cathedral town of Wade Abbas, near her boarding school. Her companion is Patrick, who lives next door and whom she hawks with.
On the ride back, over the moors, and in the dark, Patrick suddenly starts saying A Lyke-Wake Dirge, which, as its title suggests, is suitably mournful and gloomy. Nicola is somewhat spooked until Patrick breaks the mood by breaking into a spirited recitation of Robert Browning’s How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix.