Tom Fewer laments the passing, or lack of attention given to, rhyming poetry and rather than rant about the reversion of verse, he has brought out Rhyming Poetry Revived – with the subhead of – A pocket book of Rhyming Verse, Old and New.
As editor, Tom Fewer has put together a Part One section of Poets Of Yesteryear and a Part Two, Poets of Today. Tom likes the sense of rhythm that metre and rhyme provides and part of him longs for a return to poems memorised and treasured in that process. I dare say, many, who read poetry will share that sentiment.
Going back to the 16th century, Fewer rekindles interest in The Three Sisters, the Shure, Newre and Barrow, of Edmund Spenser. The almost sonnet of Shakespeare, Crabbed Age And Youth, sings a fine song to my asthmatic heart – youth is full of sport, age’s breath is short. But I love the Bard’s cry – Age, I do defy thee.
Oliver Goldsmith’s The Village Schoolmaster, brings back evocative memories of the late Eamon O’Flaherty NT reciting it in a partitioned class in Manor Street.
The inclusion of The City Of Shandon Bells is beautiful and as I read it I can hear Johnny McEvoy singing it. Its clever internal rhymes are a joy.
In part two, Fewer pays fine tribute to two almost forgotten poets, Patrick Gallagher, the Postman Poet, with his beautiful heartfelt, An Exile’s Prayer. In the way of poetry, Gallagher has returned to meet his friends once more. The gentle and gentile poet, Hester Cooke, is commemorated by Portally, a lovely word-sketch of a memorable place.
Fewer, himself, celebrates with It’s Still Good To Be Alive!, then saddens us with a closing verse, Gloom. For the times that are in it . . .