A March Poem By Antoinette Symington

This blog has been a little lacking in poetry recently (rather like life), so here is a poem for March from a poet who must, I think, have some local connection (given that I found the book in a charity shop in Harborough).

Antoinette Symington was born in 1913 and grew up on the edge of Dartmoor.  She moved to Norfolk in 1929 and studied Fine Art at the Norwich Art School and at Byam Shaw, London.  In 1940 she moved to Oswestry, Shropshire and in 1941 to Stanhoe in West Norfolk, where she seems to have lived until her death in 1996.

The poems were published posthumously by her daughters, who explain –

“We bring to the light this collection of poems written by our mother throughout her life.  They might otherwise have remained in the dark since she kept them mostly to herself.  [The poems] which were written down in a series of exercise books, range from the early years of Antoinette’s life before she married to some three or four years before she died.  She appeared to attach very little importance to them, as she never considered herself a poet, but rather an artist and painter.”   

Would anyone, now, I wonder – in the age of instant self-publication – be willing or able to keep their thoughts to themselves in quite this way?

“Plastudor” is, perhaps, the name of the house where she was living when she wrote the poem.  In June 1941 she married Richard Andrew Symington, and moved to his farm in Norfolk.

.

Plastudor, Salop – March 1941

He said you were fading.

Why did the lane

And the rain green grasses

Call me?

Why did I pick

Cowslip, crab-apple,

And vetch?

Blue vetch you loved,

Wet buttercups,

And leaves?

Taking them home

Although their freshness fade,

To comfort me?

 

Although the poems work best when read together and consecutively, I like some of the individual poems very much too, and may well feature some more at a later date.   

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5 thoughts on “A March Poem By Antoinette Symington

    • I like them. Don’t know what AS would think of seeing her private poems published on the internet. Hope she’d appreciate it.

  1. Hullo ….its interesting to find that you have found the little book of my mothers poetry, and glad that you like them. Yes, Plastudor was the house . Im not sure what she would think of seeing them published on the internet, she would probably be horrified… … Anabel (daughter)

  2. Anabel, it’s very good of you to comment. If you really think she’d have been horrified, I’d be quite happy to remove it. I really put it up here because I liked it very much and I thought it deserved a wider audience.

  3. No, no , silly of me to say that , probably ‘amazed’ would be a more appropiate word and perhaps pleased when she began to understand how some people really do like her poems. The have touched people there is no doubt, but she was quite reticent about them, and as you say they do vary in quality.Please dont take them off.

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