At Aldeburgh you have to watch your back.

The beach is chilled, the Borough vents its wrath,

And whispered, ghostly choruses proclaim

‘Grimes’, as though in agony. Tormented,

A man prepares to sink his boat. Foghorns

Sound on nearby sandbanks. Night shelters shame.

Sweet morning comes, tearing at consciences

Of perky seafarers. Go, cast your nets,

And bring home lost music, the untold tales.

Dry them, spruce them up, the opening night

Awaits and drools already at the prospect.

Tomorrow come, reluctantly, reviews,

Spray-painted with much gusto, outside Auntie’s,

While locals run from each approaching storm.

◄ Flying

She danced ►


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Stephen Gospage

Fri 31st Dec 2021 17:21

Thank you, Ray. I appreciate your kind comment. I don't think I quite capture the unsaid and implied in the way you did in your poem. As I said, the Suffolk coast has always held a special magic for me, especially when the weather is cold and windy, as it almost always was!

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Thu 30th Dec 2021 19:01

Bracing and dramatic flavour of the Suffolk coast with its associated tales, all fuelled by imagination. Very nicely presented Stephen. I enjoyed your more florid approach than the pared down poem I put on which you noted, thank you! The main thing is to be true to the style, which gives variety. Nice one.


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Stephen Gospage

Thu 30th Dec 2021 16:34

Thank you very much, John.

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John Coopey

Wed 29th Dec 2021 22:16

Redolent of images of Dickens, Stephen. Wonderful.

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Stephen Gospage

Wed 29th Dec 2021 16:45

Graham, Greg and John

Thank you so much for your positive comments on this poem. I am humbled by your reaction to it.

I have made a number of visits to Aldeburgh at the time of the music festival. Although Peter Grimes has (quite rightly) earned international acclaim as a tragic tale, both Britten's opera and Crabbe's poem are works of place and are infused with the feel of the sea and the community who live by it. As Grimes says, "I'm a native, rooted here.'

Standing on the beach at Aldeburgh and watching the waves, with the wind getting up and the clouds rolling in, you can almost sense the action happening around you.

Tha Maltings is a great place, Greg, and it would be great to attend a poetry festival there. Hopefully, post-omicron...

Thanks to Rudyard, Holden and Jimakos for the likes.

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John Botterill

Wed 29th Dec 2021 11:52

The finest poem I have read on this site, Stephen. Evocative and yet concise. Congratulations!

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Greg Freeman

Wed 29th Dec 2021 09:02

Wonderfully atmospheric, Stephen. And for some of us, memories of poetry festivals at the Maltings and in the town conjure up similar emotions.

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Graham Sherwood

Wed 29th Dec 2021 06:50

For my money this is some of your best work Stephen. I can taste the salt in each line.

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