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Blow the wind southerly, southerly, southerly – 
to a sunlit classroom in ’63, 
before that winter, and Kathleen Ferrier’s 
voice blowing through the window from somewhere 

or other, a class not ours is singing together; 
but it’s her voice, recorded in ’49 in a capella, 
that continues to drift from the past to reach me, 
though the breeze cuts it off intermittently. 

Oh, is it not sweet to hear the breeze singing 
again of love and longing never ending? 
And what is the heart but an estuary filling 
with love of those lost and remembering? 

As the needle recedes on the tide tremulously, 
a breeze once more brings her voice back to me 
and who I was then and now can never be, 
though I wait by the shore for all eternity. 




Tony Hill

Wed 14th Oct 2020 17:31

Hello Stephen, pleased you enjoyed the poem. Yes, she died quite young as recall. A traditional Northumbrian ballad. Tony

Tony Hill

Wed 14th Oct 2020 17:29

Glad you like the poem. M.C. Her voice had a haunting clarity. I can remember the moment as if it happened only yesterday. Eden Hall Juniors School, an open window, sunshine, a mental arithmetic lesson, and suddenly this wonderful voice drifting into the classroom. I was entranced. Tony

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Stephen Gospage

Wed 14th Oct 2020 16:36

A beautiful poem and a worthy tribute to a uniquely talented and brave artist.

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 14th Oct 2020 16:03

Your words are a most suitable "framework" for the song and the
memories it brings. I recall this from my own seemed to be
a regular feature on the radio in those days. The version heard
here cannot be improved upon in my opinion, every word perfectly
enunciated and pitched on key.

Tony Hill

Wed 14th Oct 2020 14:25

Thanks for the kind words, Shifa. I don't think my words do the beautiful ballad justice, but one can only try. Tony

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Shifa Maqba

Wed 14th Oct 2020 13:59

Beautifully written!
"And what is love but an estuary filling
with love of those lost and remembering?" are the most enticing lines, in my humble opinion.

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