Jeff Unsworth's Dialect Poetry
Picture - Haigh Plantation Gates, Wigan Lane, Wigan.
List of Contents
The Family Man - A fine poem by a local man set in the context of a very enjoyable family gathering in the beautiful English Lake District to celebrate the poet's 80th birthday. Very reminiscent of William Wordworth's style this recent composition contains many references to the seasons and landscapes with which the earlier poet would have been familiar.
Mind Your Language - A humorous poem by "the bard of Haydock" George Anderton, inspired by memories of a trip to Bad Canstatt, Stuttgart Germany with the Haydock Male Voice Choir in 1975. This publication will bring a smile to the faces of not only those members who were there at the time and know the people involved but the wider population of Haydock as well who speak the language.
The Heart of Midlothian - A brief synopsis and extract from this wonderful novel by Sir Walter Scott. Set in the mid-eighteenth century, it relates the trials and tribulations of the Deans, a family of farmers on the outskirts of Edinburgh, a case of infanticide and the contrasting fortunes of two very different daughters.
Jeff Unsworth's Dialect Poetry - Some wonderful dialect verse on subjects which most Wiganers of a certain age will be able to relate to and enjoy, including: Th'istry of Wiggin; The Story of Mab's Cross; The Road to Wiggin Pier; Worra Palava at Bedtime; Scithers, Combs un Pensuls; Ceawnt Thi Blessins; Mi Ony Luv.
The Darkling Thrush - A prolific novelist and poet Thomas Hardy is perhaps one of the most talented. This poem is just one example of his work and one of his best, demonstrating his command of language and his ability to capture contrasting mood with the most wonderful imagery.
The Fair Rosamund - This page is dedicated to all those train spotters who never wondered why Class 47 diesel 47618 was so named! Rosamund Clifford, legendary beauty and mistress to twelfth century King of England Henry II, daughter of Walter de Clifford of Clifford Castle Herefordshire. Reputedly killed by a jealous Queen Eleanor (of Aquitaine) but more probably died of natural causes in a convent at Godstow in Oxfordshire. These are two poetic accounts of her fascinating story, also the subject of a fine opera by Donnizetti (Rosmonda d'Inghilterra).
The Wreck of the Hesperus - Source of mother's favourite saying, probably dating from her early education at St Thomas' School Caroline Street Wigan.
God Bless these Poor Wimmen that's Childer - Poetry in the Lancashire dialect from the pen of Thomas Brierley 1828 - 1909.
Dombey and Son - A short review of this excellent book by Charles Dickens and a brief extract, a poignant picture in words featuring Mr Morfin and Harriet Carker (sister to John and James) in the period after the fall of the house of Dombey.
Aw've Turned Mi Bit O' Garden O'er - A poem from Samuel Laycock in the Lancashire dialect with subject matter very relevant to this part of the world, where the cotton industry was established and flourished. Although the industry has long been consigned to history, this poem provides a fascinating insight into the pastimes and culture of the times.
On Th' Hills - John Trafford Clegg waxes lyrical in his native Lancashire dialect about the beauty to be found in nature.
Poet's Corner - Classic poems from centuries past: 'The Wanderer', of unknown origin from the 17th century; 'High Flight', by Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee of the Royal Canadian Air Force reflecting on the exhilaration of flying; 'The Shed' by John Clare after reading in a letter proposals for building a cottage; 'The Donkey', thought provoking words by G K Chesterton.
The Glory of the Garden - A poem by Rudyard Kipling and another superb example of his art, this time applying his language skills and inimitable writing style to a subject matter close to every Englishman's (and woman's) heart.
The Rolling English Road - Some humurous verse from the pen of G K Chesterton.
Dust upon God's Fair Earth - An unusual exercise in imaginative writing, this short story demonstrates a powerful command of language and represents perhaps the blossoming of a remarkable literary talent. Written by fifth year pupil J Taylor, it is transcribed here from the summer 1960 edition of the Thomas Linacre School (Wigan) magazine.
Hymn Before Action - Probably inspired by the Boar Wars and his fears for the future in the face of increasing antagonism throughout the Empire, this is a rather remarkable but surprising composition for a man who described himself as a God fearing atheist. Written in 1896 by Rudyard Kipling it predates the Great War but echos the sentiments felt by thousands affected by the terrible carnage in the trenches of the Somme and Flanders fields, including the author himself whose son John was killed in action at the battle of Loos 27th September 1915.
Martyrs of the Arena - A male voice classic blockbuster popular with choirs throughout the country during practically the whole of the twentieth century. With poetic words by J S Stallybrass set to music by French composer Laurent De Rille this choral classic was always guaranteed to please a discerning audience.
Th' Coartin' Neet - Samuel Laycock again in his own inimitable style, this time waxing lyrical about his romantic attachment to Rosy Bell and his aspirations and fears for the future.
Boat Song - Poetry from the pen of Sir Walter Scott, inspired by the historic war between the lowland Scots army of King James V and the highland clans led by Roderick Dhu of Clan Alpine