Sunday, 14 February 2016

Independent Celebrant | St Valentine's day | Choosing your favourite love poem

It is easy to be cynical about the commercialisation of this day but I love the old English belief that today is the day that the birds choose their partners and if you listen closely to the dawn chorus, you can hear them singing with especial passion.
I have a great love of books and of poetry, so I have chosen three very different love poems to mark this romantic day. Maybe one will inspire you for your Wedding readings?

I believe there is a love poem to suit every love and every couple. I've also learnt that every couple has a very different idea as to what makes their wedding romantic. When two people decide to celebrate their love with family and friends, as an Independent Celebrant, I feel it is vital that I create a ceremony that is as individual as they are.

 W.B. Yeats
He Wishes for Cloths of Heaven
Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams
Rock doves by Pippa Unwin
Edwin Muir
The Confirmation
Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
 Then found you as a traveller finds a place
 of welcome suddenly amidst the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that's honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom and the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful, or rare in every part.
but like yourself, as they were meant to be.
Adrian Mitchell 
Celia, Celia
When I am sad and weary,
When I think all hope is gone,
When I walk along High Holborn
I think of you with nothing on
If you are thinking of having a ceremony and simply can't remember the title of a poem you once loved, please don't hesitate to contact me. I love tracking down poems and readings!
For beautiful carvings and sculptures do have a look at this talented sculptor Pippa Unwin.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Independent Celebrant | Readings and Poetry | Poems for Winter

 We have just passed "Imbolc" which marks the very beginning of Spring according to Celtic and Pagan calendars. Within the Christian church, this festival is known as Candlemas. Snowdrops and candles are linked to this day and I always try to have a posy of snowdrops by my desk and a lit candle in the window.

Winter is on its way out, so today I have hidden myself away from the wild wind and rain and enjoyed looking through my books to find some examples of poetry.


I love these last lines of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem:

                  Frost at Midnight

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,

Whether the summer clothe the general earth

With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing

Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch

Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch

Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall

Heard only in the trances of the blast,

Or if the secret ministry of frost

Shall hang them up in silent icicles,

Quietly shining to the quiet Moon

The poem was written for Coleridge's son Hartley. In it he hopes baby Hartley will become a 'Child of Nature', so this would make a lovely reading for a Naming Ceremony.

Still on the subject of new life at the turn of the year, this poem was written by an expectant mother, just before the birth of her first child.

             Last days before the Beginning

  I am fat and tight as a lilac bud.

  I am waiting

  Still and quiet as a bulb in the dark earth.

  Soon all Spring will be

  pushing, bursting, blossoming forth.

  As for now

  I like to watch for the early flowers

  The slim, frail snowdrops give me courage

  That I too will be brave when my time comes.

  It's hard to imagine a new life inside me

  But as the poet says:

  " Nothing is certain, only the certain Spring."

I will finish with a four line poem by one of my favourite poets, Edward Thomas. It is simple and captures perfectly the elusive changing of the seasons:


  Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed

  The speculating rooks at their nests cawed

  And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flowers of grass,

  What we below could not see, Winter pass.




Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Civil Celebrant: UK Society of Celebrants Annual Awards 2015 | Winn...

I'm honoured, surprised and very happy to be one of this year's winners.  I couldn't have done this without my wonderful tutor James Convery. The celebrants at UKsoc are very supportive of each other, so I'm just as excited about the other winners!

The Civil Celebrant: UK Society of Celebrants Annual Awards 2015 | Winn...: Better late than never as they say.  And the Winners ARE.... Celebrant of the Year 2015 | Julia Hill Julia Hill Competition...