A beautiful sunny day, slight breeze keeping the temperature down and suddenly I’m 10 years young again!

I want to share with you something a little different today… Sitting sharing a coffee with the GOM (Grumpy Old Man) without prompt, a poem I learned in primary school popped into my mind. Instantly I could hear the music in my head, my hands started to clap, and my feet to tap reproducing the rhythm of the dance in the poem. This type of thing is not new to GOM (we’ve been married over 30 years), so unharried he continued drinking his coffee.

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Do you remember an Inn, Miranda? Do you remember an Inn? And the tedding and the spreading Of the straw for a bedding, And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees, And the wine that tasted of tar?

Many of you will immediately recognise Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc. Not for a minute will I try to kid you I remember every word, after all primary school is 55 years ago, and many other words have settled in my brain over these years. Bits and pieces came to me such as “the girl gone …. , glancing, dancing, backing and advancing …., never more Miranda, Never more only the high peaks soar”(in fact soar should be hoar).

This had the potential of annoying me all day, so to revive my memory, I turned to PoemHunter.com which, as on many occasions in the past, gave me a measure of peace i.e. a full copy of Tarantella. This is a great site friends, free to join and each day, if you wish, you receive the poem of the day.

In the last year of primary school, we had to illustrate Tarantella, as a combined art/poetry project. I have no talent whatsoever for drawing people (actually I don’t have much talent for Art) and remember hours trying to drawer the girl dancing!

What is it that suddenly evokes such strong memories? No idea! But whatever the cause I say thank you. I’ve had a delightful couple of hours being about 10 again!

Do you like poetry? Would you like to share your favourites with us?


Here is some information on the poet…

Hilaire Belloc (Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc) 27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953 was an Anglo-French writer and historian who became a naturalised British subject in 1902, but kept his French citizenship. He was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, sailor, satirist, man of letters, soldier and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on his works, and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP for Salford from 1906 to 1910. He was a noted disputant, with a number of long-running feuds, but also widely regarded as a humane and sympathetic man.

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His most lasting legacy is probably his verse, which encompasses cautionary tales and religious poetry. Among his best-remembered poems are “Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion” and “Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death”.