Celebrating National Poetry Day on the 4th October, Blagdon resident and poet, Annette Sinclair shares with us her passion for poetry, what inspired her to start writing and a poem or, as she describes it, ‘ a collection of thoughts’, that she wrote about her move to the village.
“Having lived in Scotland, Sussex and Somerset I have always been very close to nature and when we gave up farming and retired to Winsford, Exmoor, several of us formed a small poetry group which was great fun,” said Annette.
“I loved poetry from an early age inspired by a very enthusiastic headmistress. A great favourite was ‘Go Down to Kew in Lilac Time’, followed by ‘On Westminster Bridge’ by Wordsworth and ‘The Rubaiyat’ by Omar Khayyam.”
Annette continues, “I wrote a lot about nature but on all sorts of other matters altogether. Now that I am in my nineties I am not so productive but enjoy our new poetry group here at Blagdon Village.”
The village hosts a poetry group that meets monthly and is popular with many residents. Those that don’t write their own poems bring favourites to share with the rest of the group.
Annette has been living in the village since 2008 and is very happy here, but the move itself was very emotional and to help deal with the upheaval of leaving her beloved Winsford, she wrote down her thoughts in a poem, which she has kindly shared with us:
Daily I am living through a fog of ‘U’ words,
Unrest, upset, upheaval and unreality,
Of feeling that a time warp is coming to an end,
This village which has been my life for fourteen years
Has reached a pause for breath and a new page,
So we, who once served here can now stand back,
New folk now run its intricate designs.
Now I look back and see my job complete,
And ask my God, “So what comes next?
‘Go forth, move on for there is more to come.”
I hear the insistent message in my head.
Such an idea, so totally new, move on, can it be true?
So the seed is sewn and I lift my eyes
Over the hills to the vale below and a new sunrise.
Make no mistake, this is no easy revolution,
For forty years Exmoor has been my all and
I have revelled in its beauty, been totally in thrall,
But all things come to an end, that is the rule,
And I must be on my way into that new day.
Now this I know but cannot yet accept,
This is not true, not happening to me,
I must be mad – my courage fails me, I cannot go
But with the morning light, I know that I am right,
I cannot wait until infirmity creeps up,
For then my family must carry all my woes
And this would surely be unfair and must not be.
One thing I know, that this all rests on me.
See-saw, see-saw, one minute up, the other down,
How can I possibly go to town? A country bumpkin me.
And yet, and yet, this new light gleams,
New life, new friends do not preclude the old.
I would not be so far away and I could always
Visit for a day and keep in touch.
This would not be a closing of the door
And so, most surely I can go to this new life that beckons.
Oh no! How could I let my thoughts glimpse such ideas?
Exmoor is sacrosanct, everyone knows that.
To leave is to stand trial and be found wanting.
So this dilemma weaves its weary way
And I am wearied more than I can say.
Up in the clouds, down to the depths below
One thing is certain, this just can’t go on.
Then the light shines and suddenly comes certainty and peace.
All doubts are gone as if they never were.
I now see clearly, there are still ups and downs
But more are up than down, the see-saw days are gone
Certainty now resounds, explodes – Yes, I will go.