As part of my poetry retreat last weekend I was fortunate enough to spend Saturday morning looking round Charles Causeley's house, which is now a museum and pretty much preserved as it was at the time when he died.
Charles Causeley spent most of his life in Launceston, Cornwall. He was a school teacher at the same school he had been a pupil. He was quite simply an excellent poet.
Though I was conscious when I was looking round that I was in his personal space I did write this poem.
Rummaging Through Charles Causeley’s Record Collection
nothing grabs me
too classical by far
save for a solitary
Oscar Peterson plays Cole Porter
I could grove to that
but the atom powered Dansette
monophonic record player is missing its needle
and I feel too much the tomb robberI never have been able to resist looking through someone's music collection, but I'm not sure what that says about me. By the way Dansette was an old record player from the 1950/60s.
on exploring Charles Causeley’s house
we might be buyers with money to burn
this could be a viewing
house all shipshape
I am in the footsteps of a poet I don’t know
a most modest master
so I search for clues
open drawers look in wardrobes
but you cannot wear another’s words
purloin their inspiration
it doesn’t work like that
I think tomb robber is about right for how I felt. I was conscious of the fact that I was looking for inspiration in the very place where most of his ideas coalesced. It was unique experience and thanks to Annie for organising the weekend.I have to end with Natalie Merchant's version of Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience, a poem by Charles Causeley.