the uplifting power of words – #ShoreToShore

grassI’ve been feeling fraught lately. Too much emotion, too much worry, too much sadness about the state of our country and our future.

But last night something wonderful happened – I went to Carol Ann Duffy’s Shore to Shore poetry tour. It was held in my local church, a lovely location at the best of times (I say that despite my atheist tendencies) but on this particular occasion it had a bar serving cask ales in it (it did – honest!) and was filled poetry and music.

Poets Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Jackie Kay and Gillian Allnutt all performed along side the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and with musical interludes by John Sampson. I loved it all. I’m not saying I loved each and every poem equally or that each poet affected me the same way. I think poetry is a personal thing and you can find your own meanings within the words. I let some of last night just wash over me, while other parts made me smile or laugh, and still others brought tears to my eyes. Some poems really hit home. Politics did enter the building (at a time like this how could it not?) but I had a strong sense of being surrounded by like-minded people. And we sat side by side and were immersed in thought and intelligence and warmth. It was an evening of out-and-out soul enrichment.

When I got home I wrote a poem about it. I didn’t really think about it I just walked into the room, exchanged pleasantries with my husband (‘How were the kids at bedtime? Perfectly behaved? What, did the stars align this evening or something?’), grabbed a pen and paper and the words appeared on the page. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a poem like that. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a poem.

Of course I’m terrified to share it here – because it’s a first draft and it’s raw and you might think it’s rubbish. But I want to put it somewhere because, I don’t know, there’s been so much sadness recently and the poem is about how I felt last night, remembering what’s good in life. It was transmitted so clearly through those wonderful poems from those wonderful writers and, though I can’t hope to live up to their words, they’ve given me the strength to throw a few of my own out into the world.


They fell like raindrops
drenching parched soil –
words of beauty
of truth
of kindness,
of art and wisdom and thought.

They fell like blossom
coating tired streets –
words of culture
of insight
of education,
of rawness and emotion and love.

They fell like sunbeams
through the treetops,
a soft wind through the grasses,
warmth beside me,
gentle hands in my hair.

Prose for Thought
Writing Bubble

50 thoughts on “the uplifting power of words – #ShoreToShore

  1. Luisa

    Maddy, I love this poem the imagery is so simple and honest and it really hits home. From one person who feels vulnerable about their poetry to another I think (personally) that you should take the plunge more often. Xxx
    Luisa recently posted…ThoughtsMy Profile

      1. Luisa

        It terrifies me too, I get palpitations every time I hit publish l. I think it’s because poetry is so personal, almost exposing sometimes and therefore feels risky.

        Worth the risk usually though xxx

  2. Anna

    Lovely! So glad you enjoyed it too! Warm, witty, wise ladies… As are you! Well done and keep writing x

  3. Michelle G

    Wow, what a beautiful poem, and so uplifting in these scary times. The evening sounds amazing by the way – would have loved to have gone. I think we look for the hope and the things that can soothe our souls at times like this. #Prose4T

  4. Louise

    That is a beautiful, evocative poem and I’m very glad I’ve read it. I’ve only ever shared a couple of poems and felt very exposed by the whole business so I do understand the emotion x
    Louise recently posted…UpMy Profile

  5. Powerporter

    A beautiful poem! I loved poetry as a youngster but have only recently discovered it again!! Your poem makes me want to be listening to it somewhere wonderful surrounded by like minded people! Let the googling poetry nights commence! #whatimwriting

  6. Marija Smits

    Beautiful poem Maddy, I really think the imagery works well. And you know, as an HSP I think that ‘gentle hands in my hair’ is one of my most favourite things. Wish I could afford to get a weekly head, neck and shoulders massage but I’ll have to do with my kids brushing (and sometimes yanking on my hair) instead! Anyway… I’m so glad you experienced this lovely evening; it sounds like it was very much needed. Take care, xx

  7. Turning Up In Devon

    It’s not very often you get an insight into how the poet was thinking and feeling as they wrote the poem, so it’s brilliant to get this with yours. I think so many people are seeking some form of comfort and you’ve encapsulated it so well with your poetry evening experience in this poem. Lovely :) x #whatimwriting

  8. Alice @ The Filling Glass

    I loved it when you put your poem on FB, and I love it just the same now. How lovely to have had an experience that felt so inspiring, I certainly feel like they are in short supply for me at the moment, so I’m feeling envious. I need to look for more opportunities like that near me. I hope the words and creativity are still flowing. xxx
    Alice @ The Filling Glass recently posted…Fact or fiction?My Profile

    1. Maddy Post author

      I almost didn’t want to go because I was feeling so wrung out and had to come straight from a school thing too but it really goes to show how uplifting something like that can be. Yes, look for opportunities near you! And thanks for your lovely words about my poem. xx
      Maddy recently posted…What I’m Writing – week eighty-fiveMy Profile

  9. Sophie Lovett

    So I might be late to this post but I love this poem reading it again just as much if not more than I did the first time. It sounds like the most amazing evening! What a line-up! And with cask ales! Awesomeness xx
    Sophie Lovett recently posted…Crocodile tearsMy Profile


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