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Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

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Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Rob Houghton » 10 Mar 2015, 14:52

This has probably been done before - apologies if so - but I thought it might be good if we had a specific thread to post our favourite EB poems. I have many that are favourites, but this one is right at the top of my list - On Dorset Hills, which I use a part of in my 'footer'. To me, it perfectly sums up Enid's love for nature, and also her observant eye. She manages to paint a beautiful picture of spring and warmth with a few carefully chosen words. The poem has a hint of sadness too, as the last lines reflect upon growing older and being warmed by memories during the colder days of winter and old age.

On Dorset Hills

A dozen larks sweep upward from my feet
As I come by,
And in the hazy sky
They soar on wings that with their quivering beat
Keep tremulous time to sibilant sweet song
That downward spills
Like rainfall on the hills
Cascading round me, wild and sweet and strong.
And I and every living thing are held
In sheer delight;
The daisy, petalled white,
With golden eye upturned, is magic-spelled,
And primroses that nestle cheek to cheek
As children do,
Are still with listening too.
Bewitched, the blackbird sits with silent beak,
Dumb is the strident wren, the yaffle stays
His laughing cry,
And rabbits running by
Are sudden all enchanted with amaze.
Oh voice of spring, of youth, heart's mad delight,
Sing on, sing on,
And when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes through the night.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 10 Mar 2015, 18:33

A good idea for a thread, Robert. That's a lovely poem, joyful yet poignant.

One of my favourites is another one about the Dorset countryside, written towards the end of Enid Blyton's life. In fact, I believe it was her last known poem. It conjures up a feeling of immense peace and reverence:

April Day

There is a copse I know on Purbeck Hills
That holds the April sun to its green breast;
Where daffodils
Are wild and small and shy,
And celandines in polished gold are drest.
Here windflowers dance a ballet full of grace,
And speedwell blue
Looks on with brilliant eye.
There, innocent of face,
The daisies grow,
And yellow primroses like children press
In little crowds together all day through.

Be silent, velvet bee,
And let me brood
At peace in this enchanted loneliness.
Chaffinch, take your merry song, and go
To some more distant tree.
'Tis not my mood
To have this silence stirred
By wing of bee
Or voice of bird.

Now, let me stand and gaze —
But ah, so lavishly is beauty spread
These April days,
There is no place to tread.
Then must I choose
To put away my shoes
And kneel instead.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Rob Houghton » 10 Mar 2015, 18:40

Thats another lovely poem, and also a mixture of happiness and sadness. It came close to being the first one I posted on this thread but I decided on 'Dorset Hjills' mainly because it had my 'footer quote' in it. I always think April day is quite sad at the end, where Enid says 'then I must choose to put away my shoes and kneel instead' - almost as if Enid is accepting her illness, putting away her worldly things, and kneeling - as if submitting to her old age. Probably this is just what I feel because I know what was about to happen to her, but it seems quite prophetic.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Rob Houghton » 10 Mar 2015, 19:08

Another favourite poem, featured in 'My Favourite Enid Blyton Story Book' (1964) as was 'On Dorset Hills' -

When Mother Looks Out Of The Window

When Mother looks out of the window,
She thinks she is just seeing me!
But she isn't - she's seeing a Captain
Sailing his ship on the sea!
Or maybe she's seeing a cowboy
Riding his horse all alone,
Or an Indian Chief in his feathers
Stalking a foe on his own.
She calls out "Hey, Timmy, I want you!"
But Timmy (that's me) is away
I'm flying a plane, I'm a pilot,
I'm up in the clouds all day!
(Its only in bed that I'm Timmy,
Because it wouldn't be fair,
For Mother to come up and kiss me
And find a Red Indian there!)

:D
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Poppy » 10 Mar 2015, 19:28

Nice idea for a thread, Robert. Those poems both you and Anita have posted here are lovely reads: very descriptive and scenic. Amongst my favourite Enid Blyton poems, I love this one that I have recently discovered in the Cave, through the Teachers World section. It is an uncollected poem called The Sunset Fairies.

    The Sunset Fairies
    As I lay on the top of Guelders Hill
    And watched the lazy clouds a sailing by,
    I saw the strangest thing I'd ever seen
    Away up in the Western Sunny sky.
    I saw a host of baby clouds in line
    Come floating up from somewhere far away,
    And riding on each flimsy bit of mist
    Were fairies dressed in pink and silver grey.
    They brought their clouds to anchor in the West
    (All pink they were like almond trees just out).
    Each fairy took a paintbrush and pot.
    And started splashing pink and gold about.
    They worked for half and hour with brush and paint,
    And made a sunset, wonderful to see,
    A lake of gold with islands tipped with pink-
    And then a fairy dropped some paint on me!
    It fell across my hand and made me laugh.
    And all the fairies turned their head,
    And when they saw me watching down below,
    They took their little clouds and off they fled!

http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk/blyt ... e&perid=22
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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Courtenay » 10 Mar 2015, 19:42

Wow - I didn't know any of these poems by Enid. They are beautiful! :D

It strikes me that this is yet another area in which Enid Blyton is largely underrated or outright overlooked by critics - her poetry. There are so many poems from the last couple of centuries that are deservedly classics and still widely known today. My mum used to recite some of her own favourites to me when I was little - Wordsworth's Daffodils, or Henry Lawson's The Fire at Ross's Farm (a thrillingly dramatic piece of Australiana), for example. These pieces of Enid's are easily as good, in their own way, as many of those better-known ones. Yet most people today, if you asked them if they knew any poetry by Enid Blyton, would probably assume she never wrote anything more thoughtful and evocative than Noddy's little jingles! :roll:
Last edited by Courtenay on 10 Mar 2015, 19:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Rob Houghton » 10 Mar 2015, 19:48

I agree - that's partly why I thought it would be good to share a few here - as you say, most people would just presume she wrote Noddy jingles and not much else! Some of her poems are actually very touching and thought provoking and deserve to be better knowwn. :-)
Last edited by Rob Houghton on 10 Mar 2015, 20:28, edited 1 time in total.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Courtenay » 10 Mar 2015, 19:51

Well, I'd often noticed the one you quote in your signature, Robert, and found it very moving - a side of Enid I hadn't seen before. If only there could one day be an anthology of her poetry published for the wider public to read and get to know! But I guess, as usual, there are copyright restrictions that won't be lifted for another 23 years. :|
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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Rob Houghton » 10 Mar 2015, 20:46

One more I like, based on the saying 'for want of a nail...'

All Because Of A Nail

Under a grey and wintry sky
A horse went galloping, galloping by,
And children ran to the cottage door
To see him crossing the desolate moor.
The rider cried, 'To the battle I go!
I've news for the King that will crush the foe!'

But up on the moor, oh, what a to-do!
A nail fell out of the horses shoe,
The shoe came off, and the horse began
To limp along, while his master ran
To find a smith - but none was there
And the rider lost himself in despair.

Over the hills the king and his men
Looked for the messenger time and again,
Till the battle was lost and His Majesty fled,
Then foes ruled over his land instead.

How strange that this history came about
Simply because a nail fell out!
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Rob Houghton » 10 Mar 2015, 22:49

Last one for today :wink: not very seasonal, but I like it -

The Passing of Summer

Theres a whisper through the trees,
Summer's going!
And a warning chills the bees,
Autumn's blowing!
Cull the honey while you may,
Velvet bee, along the way!

Theres a murmer from the stream,
Summer's leaving,
And the dragonflies that gleam
Fall a-grieving!
Play a while, you pretty things,
With the sunshine on your wings!

Theres a message from the sea,
Summer's dying,
Little swallows, wild and free,
Stay your flying,
Linger while the sun is bright
Ere you call your last good night!
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby walter raleigh » 11 Mar 2015, 01:32

Good idea for a thread, Robert. I really like the poem "When Mother Looks Out Of The Window". While I don't think Blyton is high rank poet such as Wordsworth or Keats and the like, she's certainly on a par with other poets who are known primarily for their children's poetry such as Walter de la Mare or Eleanor Farjeon.
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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Kate Mary » 11 Mar 2015, 07:53

This thread is a very good idea, I wonder it hasn't been done before. One of my favourite poems is The Animals' Prayer from The Animal Lover's Book:

Dear Man, dear Woman, and dear Child,
Who own each creature, tame or wild,
To you we make our prayer.
You are so clever and so wise,
Don't pass by our beseeching eyes
As if you didn't care.
In many ways we work for you,
We feed you, clothe you, guard you too,
You say it is our duty.
We drag your cart, we draw your plough,
We sing to you from bush and bough,
And please you with our beauty
And in return this much we pray-
Have mercy as you go your way,
And little things defend.
Be gentle, pitiful and kind,
So that in child and man we find
A true and faithful friend.

If I remember rightly, this poem also appears in The Book of the Year. Its sentiments were close to Enid's heart.
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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Rob Houghton » 11 Mar 2015, 10:44

That's another great poem, Kate Mary - and believe it or not, another one I almost posted on here last night! :-) It's interesting to see what people's favourite poems are, and I hope that this thread continues to grow. I'm half thinking that not so many forumites look in the 'Poetry' section of the website than elsewhere...which is a shame.

I'd forgotten where this poem had appeared initially - The Animal Lover's Book, Book of the Year, and I also have it in My Favourite Enid Blyton Story Book - obviously it was a poem Enid liked a lot! :-)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Daisy » 11 Mar 2015, 11:07

It certainly is a lovely poem.... one which I read many years ago and had completely forgotten. Yes, this is a great idea for a thread. Enid wrote many little gems - they are sprinkled through the Holiday books too. Thank you Robert.
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Re: Favourite Enid Blyton Poems

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 11 Mar 2015, 20:49

Great choices! I agree that when she's at her best, Enid Blyton as a poet is on a par with Walter de la Mer and Eleanor Farjeon, Walter. There are also shades of A. A. Milne, Robert Louis Stevenson and Rose Fyleman in some of her verses.

One of the best anthologies of Enid Blyton's poems was published as recently as 1979 by Purnell, Courtenay - Enid Blyton's Treasury of Verse:

http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk/book ... y+of+Verse

Poppy, I like 'The Sunset Fairies' - it's gorgeously whimsical. Another fanciful poem that I like a lot is 'Fairy Snow':


Fairy Snow

Yesterday the sky was white,
For one big cloud was spread
From east to west and north and south
Above my head.

But in the night the fairy-folk
Began to wonder why
They saw no moon nor little stars
About the sky.

They didn't like that big white cloud,
So up they softly flew,
And tore it all to tiny bits
The whole night through.

And one by one the bits fell down,
Like feathers soft and white,
Until the ground was overspread
With dazzling white.

And now today that big white cloud
Beneath my feet is spread,
And all the sky is blue again
Above my head.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


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