Wednesday 31 May 2023


 A quick post for the start of June.  

Ranunculus californicus - Wikipedia

 Last week, I was going through an old cardboard box in my room, and found an old and almost forgotten notebook. 

The pages are filled with my teenage poems, drssed in all the different handwriting styles that I adopted around that time. So often the mood is melancholy or unhappy, as adolescent poetry often is, and many echo the intense religious atmosphere of the convent school I was then attending.

I can sense hints of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Keats and even T.S. Eliot in the line patterns, and an embarassing overuse of flowery romantic 'poetic' language and phrases, but the poems in the notebook also remind me uncomfortably of the confusion, frets and sadness I was feeling back. They are uncomfortable to think about for too long.  

Ranunculus californicus - Wikipedia

Then I suddenly found the lines below and recognised the mood: this is the sense of hope and gratitude that I often feel on my birthday morning, even now, many many years beyond the sixteenth.

I had a lovely birthday, thank you.

 The Sixteenth Year

 This is the summer I have waited for

The ease, the warmth, the sunshine and the flowers,

Verily a blossoming of life in the heart of the soul

A blessing and a mellowing

The early years of waiting, the bitter anguish all gone

Distilled in warmth and sunny hours

And day-warm petals and watching flowers.

Relax and rest and let the sun caress

Those perfect limbs in idleness

The natural safety, the blessed rest

This one safe year of all the years I've known

The best. 

 Ranunculus californicus - Wikipedia

Penny Dolan.


Joan Lennon said...

Bless your cotton socks! And I love that you were being influenced by such fine poets at so young an age. Thanks for this!

Lynne Benton said...

Lovely, Penny!