1) From Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
“The Besieged Generation”
filthy, furtive fact of life
overflowing with secret
wife, mother, ordinary life
little mouse of a woman, seldom seen
whose eyes would glow of love
one son, a picture stamped upon her mind
2) From War in Val D’Orcia by Iris Origo
She will go on August 15th, my birthday, in the middle of the garden path.
In a few days they tell us, 'it is to be,' they say.
As they sit, drinking their classes of wine, the most highly specialized human beings.
Both of them are Russian officers.
I say: ‘No,’ I belonged to the depth of the inevitability of war.
3) From As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee
“One Midsummer Morning”
In the torrid street, cool air, wet tiles, and wine-soaked wood:
this place was yours
Pot-boys and men holding goblets of sherry, piled round the counters
succulently enthroned on great banquets, twitching on beds of palm-leaves
Also on offer would be sizzling pork or lamb
But then this after all, was some of the best in the world
That’s how I remember it: a proliferation of watchmen, taxi-drivers, sleek officials
fastidiously biting into tart pink flesh,
tasting half-forgotten seas, half-remembered empires
The surge of heroes was a way of life,
buried away from the burning sky;
so successfully come to terms with this particular priority of pleasure
Feeling creative? Grab the nearest book, make a copy of any page you'd like, and block out words or phrases until you've got yourself a brand new poem! We'd love to read what you come up with, so feel free to share in the comments or tweet us your poem @GodinePub!