Thursday, October 08, 2009

National (Shed) Poetry Day

There's a considerable canon of excellent shed-based and garden office-inspired poetry by the likes of John 'Shedman' Davies (above) and Matt Harvey as well as an actual Poetry House shed. Shedworking was also delighted to see that Workshop Shed has also got into the spirit of the occasion. For today's special National Poetry Day though we're going for something with which readers are probably unfamiliar, The Lean-To-Shed (Communicated By An Eight-Year-Old) by R. C. Lehmann, who wrote for Punch magazine about 100 years ago. It's quite long (you can read the whole thing at Google Books) so we've just included the first verse to give you a flavour
I’ve a palace set in a garden fair,
And, oh, but the flowers are rich and rare,
Always growing
And always blowing
Winter or summer—it doesn’t matter—
For there’s never a wind that dares to scatter
The wonderful petals that scent the air
About the walls of my palace there.
And the palace itself is very old,
And it’s built of ivory splashed with gold.
It has silver ceilings and jasper floors
And stairs of marble and crystal doors;
And whenever I go there, early or late,
The two tame dragons who guard the gate
And refuse to open the frowning portals
To sisters, brothers and other mortals,
Get up with a grin
And let me in.
And I tickle their ears and pull their tails
And pat their heads and polish their scales;
And they never attempt to flame or fly,
Being quelled by me and my human eye.
Then I pour them drink out of golden flagons,
Drink for my two tame trusty dragons…
But John,
Who’s a terrible fellow for chattering on,
John declares
They are Teddy-bears;
And the palace itself, he has often said,
Is only the gardener’s lean-to shed.
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