Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Summing Up

House at Dusk by Edward Hopper

Half light,
Half night,
Half not all it seems. 
Half forgotten dreams.
Half time,
Half rhyme,
Half lit from above.
Half hidden,
Half bidden,
Half remembered love.
Half board,
Half bored,
Half truths left unspoken.
Half life,
Half wife,
Half promises broken. 
Half told,
Half tolled,
Half bound by the rules.
Half said,
Half dead,
Two complete fools.

© Marilyn Brindley

Taking part in 'The Mag 119' courtesy of Tess at Willow Manor

This picture first suggested John Betjeman's 'Death in Leamington' to me, which may account for the gloomy mood of my offering. It certainly made me think of the death or an ending of a relationship. In any case I think the picture could equally illustrate Betjeman's poem. Here's a reading of that poem from almost forty years ago. Maggie Smith and Kenneth Williams lend their wonderful voices to a rendering, observed and approved by the poet himself ,on the 'Parkinson' show (February 1973)


  1. Did I enjoy this? Not half!

    How strange that you should include this reading by Kenneth Williams and Maggie Smith. I recorded a later broadcast of the programme, on VHS, later transferred it to DVD, and was watching it with my daughter only a few days ago.

  2. The painting is pretty dark and gives the sense of loneliness too (I thought)
    Really liked your interpretation of it. The concise lines made it even more effective.

  3. You've captured the mood of the painting. The woman in the window looks wistful or waiting.... Repetition and rhyme work well here.

  4. while you saw it as gloomy, i saw it as mysterious. i chose to avoid the "characters" in the painting, didn't want to get too psychological, guess that's how i avoided the gloom. it was just 1/8 gloomy to me. ;)

    neither good nor bad

  5. I liike your unusual versing; it has capturd the feeling very well.

  6. I love the repeated word...so bold, sad, dark, empty. You nailed the image I saw!

  7. I love how you played with the words so brilliantly. It simply sung!

  8. sounds like the cup is half empty you know....really nice flow created inthe repetition as well...and you really build a mood in this as well...

  9. The repetition and cadence of your poem brings everything to life and makes it sparkle! I love it!! You have captured the spirit of the painting so cleverly. Beautiful, Little Nell. Thank you for sharing. =D

  10. How wonderful this is! Love it!

  11. Oh I really liked what you did with this piece! Thanks for sharing.

  12. What a perfect accomplishment..selfish me, I wish I'd written this!

  13. Many moods captured in one mood! I like the way you make us think in many directions at once!

  14. splendid- you nailed this all the way-not half way.

  15. Excellent interpretation. Sadness, regret and bitterness - lets hope this poem doesn't ring true for too many readers!

    Lucy x

  16. this poem was mad dark fun, little nell.

  17. I didn't like this 50/50.....I loved it 100%..!! And the Betjeman reading was delightful! Nice to listen to Kenneth in a nursey tale that didn't need the words..."ooooh, Matron!"

  18. This was utterly brilliant! I enjoyed every syllable! (I'm talking about YOUR words, not theirs, but will listen to them now. Kenneth Williams? Hoot!)

  19. Well, you didn't do things by half! LOL Great Mag. :)

  20. Hi Nell, this is so way cool. Poetry that I can understand ... both yours and the one in the video. Thanks!

    Kathy M.

  21. Sounds a lot like the real thing! Great take. Love Smith/Williams - couldn't have been a better choice.