I do like the way things get your memory working… I stumbled across the Existential Pause Poetry Blog yesterday with his wonderful little Haiku poems, and was taken right back to a book I read in childhood. A brief foray into the loft resulted in said book being found and read cover to cover – ‘Miss Happiness and Miss Flower’ by Rumer Godden. Being a tomboy at the time, I wasn’t sure about the book at first seeing as it was about dolls, but it’s also about building a Japanese dollshouse – and at the back of the book are instructions on how to make your own. I wonder if this book was the reason I got that little carpenter’s toolbox for Christmas one year?
Anyway, also in this book is a Haiku that’s probably the only bit of poetry I’ve ever successfully memorised:
My two plum trees are
So gracious… See, they flower
One now, one later.
It’s probably the only ‘poetry rule’ that I’ve always remembered too… five, seven, five…
I remembering ordering this book. At primary/junior school, we’d get a leaflet come round from which we could choose books, the school would order them, and soon we’d each be presented with our pristine new copies (first thing to do is open each book and take a big sniff… aaaaaah… still do that now…). Was it something to do with a ‘Bookworm’ club? Perhaps… I seem to recall a white plastic bag with a green smiley bookworm on it, or maybe that was something else…
But what’s with the Second Class Certificate, I hear you cry? Well, I used to take part in the Peterborough Drama Festival each year, and in front of me now (after a further trip to the loft) is a Second Class Certificate, awarded in 1977 for Prose Reading, 8 years. As soon as I got to Chapter 7 of the book and started reading (‘It was a very strange thing. When Belinda had gone to bed nobody had seemed to like her. Now in the morning everybody liked her very much.’) I was transported back to standing in front of a roomful of people, very nervous, reading aloud.
Also just read ‘Mr McFadden’s Halloween’ by the same author, again bought through that book club at school. Another wonderful, wonderful story…
Of course, I had to google Rumer Godden, and had a further memory jog… she wrote ‘The Diddakoi’, which was on telly as ‘Kizzy’ – about a little gypsy girl, remember? So my order has been placed on Amazon for a copy.
Stumbling upon the Existential Pause Poetry Blog has resulted in a lovely little trip down memory lane, reading two books, two trips to the loft, and one Amazon order.
Ain’t t’internet fab?!