Sunday, May 8, 2011

"There's Masses Of Time Yet, Masses, Masses . . ."

I have visited Yorkshire on a few occasions, and I found it and its inhabitants to be lovely.  With regard to the following poem, I consider all of us to be Yorkshiremen who frequent pub gardens.  To be specific:  "the man in charge of the boating pool" eventually calls for each of us.

            Yorkshiremen in Pub Gardens

     As they sit there, happily drinking,
their strokes, cancers and so forth are not in their minds.
     Indeed, what earthly good would thinking
about the future (which is Death) do?  Each summer finds
     beer in their hands in big pint glasses.
     And so their leisure passes.

     Perhaps the older ones allow some inkling
into their thoughts.  Being hauled, as a kid, upstairs to bed
     screaming for a teddy or a tinkling
musical box, against their will.  Each Joe or Fred
     wants longer with the life and lasses.
     And so their time passes.

     Second childhood; and 'Come in, number 80!'
shouts inexorably the man in charge of the boating pool.
     When you're called you must go, matey,
so don't complain, keep it all calm and cool,
     there's masses of time yet, masses, masses . . .
     And so their life passes.

Gavin Ewart, Selected Poems 1933-1988 (1988). 

                                              Stanley Roy Badmin
               "Wharfedale Looking Towards Grassington, Yorkshire"  


From My Easy Chair said...

Interesting poem. I absolutely love the painting. Thank you.

Stephen Pentz said...

From My Easy Chair: I'm pleased that you like the painting. I have a soft spot for Badmin's idyllic views of the English countryside.

As always, thank you for visiting.

zmkc said...

Not sure about the 'tinkling musical box' - not something that infant Yorkshiremen would admit to screaming for, although possibly there are dark secrets lurking in their nurseries. The picture is really gorgeous

Stephen Pentz said...

Thanks for stopping by, zmkc. As for the musical box: as you and I have discussed recently on your blog, Betjeman had his "teddy," so who knows?

Yes, the Badmin is nice, but I fear that, having been painted 50 or so years ago, it depicts a lost world. But still beautiful.

Shelley said...

Dickens is so urban that I always wonder what sub-urban and rural England looked like during his day. Maybe like that?

Nice mention of you in the Occasional Review.

Stephen Pentz said...

Shelley: as always, thank you for visiting.

Yes, I suppose that England may have looked a bit like that -- although perhaps it was not so idyllic in reality!

I did see The Occasional Review post, and I emailed a thank you to the host. Thank you as well for your comment to the post.