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Figures of Eight

July 13, 2013

‘Figures of Eight’ was inspired by a visit to Llangollen this week, during the International Musical Eisteddfod.  The weather was glorious, the River Dee sparkling, purple foxgloves everywhere, and the little town – so picturesque in the lee of the Berwyn Mountains – had a real buzz to it, a happy carnival buzz beneath the bunting.

A tip of the cap to those warmly remembered figures from the town’s past, ‘The Ladies of Llangollen’.  Miss Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler were loving friends of aristocratic descent whose relationship was frowned upon in their native Ireland.  They escaped to Llangollen in 1778 to start a new life together and lived for almost 50 years at Plas Newydd, a cottage they turned into a house of gothic beauty with wonderful gardens, where they were visited by many famous personalities of the day.


FIGURES OF EIGHT (a triolet)


A deep sigh, that was then and this is now:

River rapids, figures of eight in foam.

Toes to trail the crystal flow, we’d allow.


A deep sigh, that was then and this is now:

Our love to flourish like the foxgloves, how?


Eloped, we’d make a decorous home.

A deep sigh, that was then and this is now:

River rapids, figures of eight in foam…


Paul Beech


Copyright © Paul Beech 2013

(Posted on Linkedin 13/07/13)

From → Poetry

  1. Pixie Pearl permalink

    The poem is a beautiful however it conveys a deep atmosphere . What other poems do you write as these are simply magical.
    Pixie Pearl 🍑

    • Pixie, I’m interested in all kinds of poetry. Most recently I’ve written a long historical poem and a short haibun (prose married to haiku), both factually-based. Of course, reading to a live audience is a good way of finding out whether a poem is any good or not!

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