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
Why did I pick
Blue vetch you loved,
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.