Post-1945 Pastoral Poetry Key Quotes

  • Created by: Esme
  • Created on: 31-03-15 12:32

Dylan Thomas

Fern Hill:

"Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs"

"Time let me hail and climb"

"I was prince of the apple towns:

"In the sun that is young once only/Time let me play and be"

Poem in October:

"My birthday began with the water -"

"Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name"

"I saw in the turning so clearly a child's/Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother"

"That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine./These were the woods the river and sea"

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Philip Larkin

Show Saturday:

"A recession of skills."

"Needlework, knitted caps, baskets, all worthy, all well done"

"Back now to autumn, leaving the ended husk/Of summer that brought them here for Show Saturday"

"Not noticing how time's rolling smithy-smoke/Shadows much greater gestures"

"Let it always be there."

Going, Going:

"We can always escape in the car"

"As earth will always respond/However we mess it about"

"And that will be England gone"

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Philip Larkin

Church Going:

"Once I am sure there's nothing going on"

"And what remains when disbelief has gone?"

"A serious house on serious earth it is,/In whose blent air all our complusions meet"

"If only that so many dead lie round."

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Elizabeth Jennings

In a Garden:

"Sickness for Eden was so strong"


"I visited the place where we last met./Nothing was changed"

"It was because the place was just the same/That made your absense seem a savage force"

A Chrous:

"Over the surging tides and the mountain kingdoms"

"This spirit, this power, this holder together of space"

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U A Fanthorpe

Stanton Drew:

"First you dismantle the landscape."

"And earth/Stripped of its future, tilted/Into meaning"

"Listen/To the past's long pulse."

Horticultural Show:

"These will guide us/Through the slow dream of winter."

"Sacrificed beetroots/Display their bleeding hearts."

"Persephone's fruits utter where they have been,/Where we are going."

Canal: 1977:

"Waiting to take over. I remember before."

"Humanity goes out/Like a light"

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Norman MacCraig

Birds All Singing:

"Or so we are told -"

"But tantalise and transfigure the morning air"

"And man, with straws of singing in his hair,/Strolls in his Bedlam"

An ordinary day:

"whichever was the truth of it."

"my mind observed to me, or I to it"

"how extraordinary ordinary/things are, like the nature of the mind/and the process of observing."


"A proletarian bird."

"watch him happily flying/on the O-levels and A-levels/of the air."

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Tony Harrison

A Kumquat for John Keats:

"Melancholy dwelled inside Delight"

"he'd bite just once and then apostrophize... how the fruit had all/the qualities of fruit before the Fall,/but in the next few lines be forced to write/how Eve's apple tasted on the second bite"

"sweet pulp and sour skin -/Or was it sweet outside, and sour within?"

"crunching kumquats, thinking, as he eats/the flesh, the juice, the pith, the pips, the peel,/that this is how a full life ought to feel."

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