'A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.' - W. H. Auden
Being proud of our location, heritage and it's residents, both past and present, is an integral part of why Chestnut exists. Hailing from Diss, found in the border of Norfolk and Suffolk, Chestnut's founder Philip has stated how he wanted to locate his business in East Anglia, where he was proud to grow up and have many wonderful memories as a child.
Today, on World Poetry Day, we take a look at some of the beautiful words written about our 'neck-of-the-woods' by some well-known names who have since immortalised our piece of English soil.
'The Soldier' is a famous piece of writing by Rupert Brooke, a young soldier who fought during the first World War. Brooke is known for his wartime sonnets and poems, of which Winston Churchill was an admirer. Whilst serving with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, the young poet succumbed to septicaemia caused by a mosquito bite and died at the untimely age of 27. As owners of The Rupert Brooke in Granchester, it is only right that we shine a light on his words today and hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Sir John Betjemen was Poet Laureate from 1972 until his death some 12 years later. We have chosen his poem 'East Anglian Bathe' as one of our picks for #WorldPoetryDay. Originally from London with Dutch ancestry, Betjemen wasn't born in East Anglia but did travel throughout his life, writing about his experiences along the way. We think he has captured East Anglia brilliantly, describing the calm waters of the Norfolk Broads to the ever-changing weather over our countryside.
With over 350 miles of coastline, Essex is a jewel in East Anglia's crown and one which has been admired by many, including poet Arthur Shearly Cripps who immortalised the county in his poem 'Essex'. Cripps was an Anglican Priest, activist and poet who some believed could perform miracles after healing the sick and injured with a prayer. After holding parish in Essex, he moved to Zimbabwe in the late 1800's.
If I should die, think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
EAST ANGLIAN BATHE
Oh when the early morning at the seaside
Took us with hurrying steps from Horsey Mere
To see the whistling bent-grass on the leeside
And then the tumbled breaker-line appear,
On high, the clouds with mighty adumbration
Sailed over us to seaward fast and clear
And jellyfish in quivering isolation
Lay silted in the dry sand of the breeze
And we, along the table-land of beach blown
Went gooseflesh from our shoulders to our knees
And ran to catch the football, each to each thrown,
In the soft and swirling music of the seas.
There splashed about our ankles as we waded Those intersecting wavelets morning-cold, And sudden dark a patch of sky was shaded, And sudden light, another patch would hold The warmth of whirling atoms in a sun-shot And underwater sandstorm green and gold. So in we dived and louder than a gunshot Sea-water broke in fountains down the ear. How cold the bathe, how chattering cold the drying, How welcoming the inland reeds appear, The wood-smoke and the breakfast and the frying, And your warm freshwater ripples, Horsey Mere.
I go through the fields of blue water
On the South road of the sea.
High to North the East-Country
Holds her green fields to me--
For she that I gave over,
Gives not over me.
Last night I lay at Good Easter
Under a hedge I knew,
Last night beyond High Easter
I trod the May-floors blue--
Tilt from the sea the sun came
Bidding me wake and rue.
Roding (that names eight churches)--
Banks with the paigles dight--
Chelmer whose mill and willows
Keep one red tower in sight--
Under the Southern Cross run
Beside the ship to-night.
Ah! I may not seek back now,
Neither be turned nor stayed.
Yet should I live, I'd seek her,
Once that my vows are paid!
And should I die I'd haunt her--
I being what God made!
England has greater counties--
Their peace to hers is small.
Low hills, rich fields, calm rivers,
In Essex seek them all,--
Essex, where I that found them
Found to lose them all!
We hope you enjoy reading these as much as we did! Find our more about 'World Poetry Day' HERE