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Byron: All These I Learnt
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The following was on Radio 4 yesterday, read by the Prince of Wales in celebration of National Poetry Day. Though non-megalithic, it probably strikes a chord with most of us as we climb over hills and moors to find a stone or two that not too many people care about anymore. The poem is full of lost or half-forgotten names for plants and insects that all seem to be saying, "I'm here, don't forget my name." There's an echo of that in Thom's poem at the top of this thread when he writes -

The racing barley, erratically-bleached
Bronze, cross-hatched with gold
And yellow, did not stop short its tide
In deference. It was the barley's

It's quite a long poem so here are just the first few lines - the rest can be found at[...]rts/prince_poem_20061005.shtml Charles does a good job of reading the poem and it's well worth a listen, as well as a read.

All These I Learnt

If I have a son, he shall salute the lords and ladies who unfurl green hoods to the March rains, and shall know them afterwards by their scarlet fruit. He shall know the celandine, and the frigid, sightless flowers of the woods, spurge and spurge laurel, dogs' mercury, wood-sorrel and queer four-leaved herb-paris fit to trim a bonnet with its purple dot. He shall see the marshes gold with flags and kingcups and find shepherd's purse on a slag-heap. He shall know the tree-flowers, scented lime-tassels, blood-pink larch-tufts, white strands of the Spanish chestnut and tattered oak-plumes. He shall know orchids, mauve-winged bees and claret-coloured flies climbing up from mottled leaves. He shall see June red and white with ragged robin and cow parsley and the two campions. He shall tell a dandelion from sow thistle or goat's beard. He shall know the field flowers, lady's bedstraw and lady's slipper, purple mallow, blue chicory and the cranesbills - dusky, bloody, and blue as heaven...

Robert Byron

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Posted by Littlestone
6th October 2006ce

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Megalithic Poems (Littlestone)

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