Category Archives: Geography

Lake Bled

Lake Bled

Following on in September’s sonnet series, we now come to the Petrarchan sonnet which is quite different from the two previous sonnets I have posted. Whilst it is still written in iambic pentameter, the structure has changed. Rather than three quatrains and a couplet, we have one octave (eight line verse) and a sestet (six line verse). The rhyming structure for the octave is usually a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a. Typically, the sestet follows either c-d-e-c-d-e or c-d-c-d-c-d. For this poem, I have chosen the former.

I have something of a phobia when it comes to swimming. Being in water is distinctly uncomfortable and upsetting for me and I find deep water utterly terrifying and disturbing. I can trace this phobia back to a particular day in the year of 2012. I was travelling around Europe with some friends and we stopped in Slovenia near a stunning lake named Lake Bled. It really was one of the most beautiful places we had ever seen so we went for a swim.

A few metres out, the bed of the lake suddenly plummeted to a great depth. I found myself almost paralysed with fear then, without knowing what happened in between, I was crawling up the bank breathless and shaking. That afternoon, I stupidly agreed to go swimming again and had another panic attack when a very large fish brushed passed my legs. Later, back in my room, I had a vivid flashback and fell over. How dramatic! These experiences have been condensed for the sake of concision (severely lacking in this introduction) in this sonnet.

Lake Bled

We swaggered through the bright Slovenian heat
Some days into our European break
From Castle Hostel, out towards the lake
The water gently lapping at our feet
Lured into depths by cunning and deceit
And glancing down, a terrible mistake
A giant fish, more than my mind could take
It pushed my legs then vanished into peat

Still screaming as I staggered up the bank
And trembling for hours after that
Not caring that my friends thought me insane
I pondered just how deep I nearly sank
Collapsed into a heap and, laying flat
I swore that I would never swim again

Terrifyingly beautiful

Terrifyingly beautiful

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London

London

This month, I’m going to be posting different kinds of Sonnet. I’m started with what is perhaps the most well known form of sonnet, The English or Shakespearean Sonnet, so called because Shakespeare wrote a buttload of them. These are written in iambic pentameter and feature three quatrains (four line verses) followed by a couplet. The rhyme structure is traditionally a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g. The three quatrains explain the story or problem and the final couplet features the resolution or realisation.

I decided that a familiar sonnet required a familiar theme so this is about travelling home to London. It tells the story of a particularly stressful coach journey which was delayed by about four hours overall.

London

I reached the stop and shivered in the cold
Umbrella raised to fend off Summer show’rs
A dismal group, we stood there, young and old
In silence as the minutes turned to hours

Two hours late, the bus arrived in shame
And every seat took on a bitter bum
Some desperate souls lashed out for one to blame
But, finding no one, settled feeling glum

An hours break was mandated by law
Some wept and other raged against the night
Eventually, in disbelief we saw
Victoria bus station by moonlight

And with a smile no lateness could destroy
I entered London, my great home and joy

Ok, Yorkshire isn't too far behind in my estimation

Ok, Yorkshire isn’t too far behind in my estimation

I Have To Be Brief

I Have To Be Brief

I wanted to see what would happen if I forced myself to write a poem when I was feeling utterly uninspired. Despite having not the slightest inclination to write a poem or the faintest clue what to write about, I whipped out my phone and started typing. In hindsight, perhaps I shouldn’t have bothered.

I Have To Be Brief

There’s not much time
So I have to be brief
There are no badgers
In the barrier reef

There’s not much light
So I have to be dark
There are no killer whales
In Kensington Park

I'm sure that nobody Cares anymore But I found an umbrella In my underwear drawer

I’m sure that nobody
Cares anymore
But I found an umbrella
In my underwear drawer

Auntie Bess

Auntie Bess

Sticking with the fish theme, this is a short song about riding fish to far away places. That’s pretty much it. Not much else to explain.

Auntie Bess

I rode a salmon to Germany
To Germany? Oh yes!
I rode a salmon to Germany
To see my Auntie Bess

I tickled it’s fin, which summoned a djiin
And flew me across the sea
All this to visit my Auntie Bess
Who lived in Germany

I rode a tuna to reach Baghdad
To reach Baghdad? Oh boy!
I rode a tuna to reach Baghdad
And see my Uncle Roy

I tickled it’s snout, and called it a trout
Which made it awfully mad
All this to visit my Uncle Roy
Who lived there in Baghdad

I rode a haddock to Uruguay
To Uruguay? Oh man!
I rode a haddock to Uruguay
To see my cousin Dan

I tickled it’s face, then rose into space
To watch it quiver and cry
All this to visit my cousin Dan
Who lived in Uruguay

This might get me to Northern Ireland at a push

This might get me to Northern Ireland at a push

That Other Earth

That Other Earth

I know the picture is shoddy on this one but I’m afraid my geography is extremely poor so I can’t draw a realistic looking Earth.

One night over Summer, I woke up suddenly at about 3:00 AM and rushed to grab a pen and some paper. A bizarre sonnet had appeared almost fully formed in my head. Imagine, if you can, that another planet hung above Earth in space. What if there was a second Earth which had a north pole on the bottom so that our poles repelled each other and it kept them up there? That’s the basis for this poems. An old man is telling his grandson about the time when another planet sat above their heads. It was a beautiful time but it all went horribly wrong. The fact that I wrote this at 3:00 probably explains how stupid it is.

That Other Earth

When I was young, lad, two Earths shared the sky
Our peoples worked in peace towards our goals
We both flew round the sun, not caring why
We soon found out we had opposite poles

It kept them floating up above our heads
But human nature craves experiment
We noosed that Earth with several billion threads
To pull the planet down our minds were bent

With each man tugging, naught stood in our way
We brought the planet close enough to touch
But then the straining threads began to fray
The polar repulsion became too much

And to our shame, the once great human race
We launched that other  Earth out into space

The vastness of space is matched only by the unfathomable depths of the Birmingham cloud cover that hides it

The vastness of space is matched only by the unfathomable depths of the Birmingham cloud cover that hides it

Bonjour

Bonjour

Clever people can speak French. No matter where you are from, the cleverest and sexiest people of every nation can speak French. I don’t know why. I’ve never thought it was a particularly beautiful or poetic language. In fact I’ve always preferred English but I’m probably biased. That being said, the chicks dig French so I decided to write a poem in French. I’m an intellectual ‘n all so it was about time anyway.

Now, please bear in mind that I only studied French from year 7 to year 9 so I’m exceedingly proud of the fact that I managed to write a whole poem! For the less intellectual amongst you, I have supplied an English translation. For any French  peeps among you, the poem probably doesn’t say what I think it does. I’m sorry. Having said that, google translate seems to suggest I’m right so who knows?

Bonjour

Bonjour Madame, ca va?
J’aime tous le monde ce soir
Je suis tres desole
Parce que je suis Anglais

J’ai douze ans, dans le sac
Où est le cidre Jacque?
Je crie ‘Ah sacrebleu!’
Mon ami, petite soeur

Translation:

Hello madam, how are you?
I love all the world tonight
I am very sorry
Because I am English

I am twelve years old, in the bag
Where is the cider, Jacque?
I shout ‘Ah sacrebleu!’
My friend, little sister

The smelliest country in the world was bound to get cheese right

The smelliest country in the world was bound to get cheese right

PS: Sorry to any French peeps for the banner on this one. It’s only a joke I promise!

Urugauy

Uruguay

Geography has never been a strong point of mine. In fact, my geographical knowledge on any scale is fairly awful. The world is a large and very strange place and I just don’t understand it at all. One place that particularly stands out as baffling is Uruguay. Where is it? What do you call people from Uruguay? What is the culture like? What is the weather like? Why is it spelled so weirdly? This is my confused tribute to two oddly named places I know nothing about.

Uruguay

Where on Earth is Uruguay?
And what on Earth does it do?
What language is spake?
And what pastries are bake?
Is Uruguay even are true?

Where on Earth is Paraguay?
And what on Earth does it do?
What people are look?
And what written is book?
Is Paraguay even are too?

Uruguay, I’m a gwirl, what are we waiting for?