A poem based on my recent travels around England. A dizain poem for Dverse.

England’s Green

From Figsbury Ring an ancient hill top fort,

Where safe within all lives were shaped with stone,

Through dangerous dales of deep monastic thought,

To power won by muscle and broken bone.

Women would spin the threads of tales unknown.

In England’s green and pleasant tree torn land

Wool made money not crops by human hand,

Oak built ships wooed the world, waged war with Spain

Till our landscape became a titled brand,

A green sodden land, no roots to remain.

This poem has come about as it is part of my poetic challenge this year to try the different forms Dverse Poets are focusing on each month. Having been busy with my older daughter’s wedding and delightful grandma duties and no internet connection I have not been fully present blogging!

I have been in the UK for longer than usual and wondering about our identity and relationship with the land. And just wondering about the bizarre politics and climate change. We have had an incredible heatwave, some days hotter than Seville and tremendous rainfall. So much that a dam that has stood the test of time has overflowed, causing damage and the town below evacuated. This is close to our northern home. We visited the town not long ago for Sunday lunch. We live near the river, the Goyt that flows from this dam but are way uphill and downstream but many places could be affected if the dam breaches. And more rain is expected.

The photos are from my travels and the places and links in the poem to our often forgotten working person’s history which is very much in focus in northern post industrial mill towns. It seems most of the photos were taken on sunny days! Oh and the UK has one of the worst percentages of tree coverage in Europe.

Malmesbury Abbey

High Peak Canal . The Marple flight of locks. Engineering and labour.

An English country house for the ‘entitled’ !

The form for this challenge is the dizain and can be found on the Dverse website. Dverse.com


The dizain is a 10-line form which – like so many good ones – originated in France. It was popular there in the 15th and 16 Centuries, and has also been used by such famous English poets as John Keats and Philip Sidney.

Basic Structure

The basic rules for the dizain are that it has one stanza consisting of 10 lines, with 10 syllables per line, and the rhyme scheme is ababbccdcd.

32 thoughts on “A poem based on my recent travels around England. A dizain poem for Dverse.”

  1. Georgina, an intense and lyrical reflection on the country … my husband, a history buff, often mentions the oak forests that used to adorn England but disappeared for ship building! It’s definitely been an odd summer here and unbelievable to view the broken dam. Hope your family is all safe. A great post and time without WiFi definitely aids creativity and connection with the world around one! Happy travels! 😀🌺

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Annika, here in Marple we have finally had some flood warnings but this was evident to anyone with a sense of geography and living on the river the dam holds back and goes into. However, rain has held off. So far no loss to life.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think it was just incredible rainfall over a few days. The water just cascaded over the dam and has destroyed the concrete facing. It is an amazing earth dam built in 1831. What I find incredible is how the town is just beneath it. We saw the river when we visited but not the dam! We were going to Lyme Park but the rain stopped us and now that is flooded. Darcy film country!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, we have ancient roots and rocks. The rain here seems to be holding off so will help the dam efforts. However Lyme Park, part of the same hills was flooded. Darcy film country estate! Very strange being here in UK and so much heat, rain and bizarre politics! Will catch up with you and other bloggers when back on my Spanish wifi!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. A very interesting take on the changing state of England’s greenness, particularly for someone like me who lives too far away to know this. How sad!
    I love the kind of language you’ve used; the measured tones seem to give a sense of history.
    Sorry to say your 3rd and 4th lines each have one too many syllables – which to my mind doesn’t spoil a good poem, but since we are being strict with the form I have to mention it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Rosemary but I couldn’t quite rearrange those lines. I am feeling a sense of history at the moment as our politicians drive on what’s considered ‘the will of the people’. We have a long history here of change, dissent, reform! I hope the extra syllables are unstressed. I might look at it again soon but will be back in Spain so could lose the feel of a very English poem.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, those syllables are unstressed; also in 3rd line the ‘er’ in ;dangerous’ can be pretty much elided. It would be a pity to lose the alliteration by changing ‘dangerous’ to some two-syllable word. And I do see how difficult it would be to try and alter the 4th line. As I say, normally I wouldn’t be such a stickler with a poem that’s otherwise working so very well. At the very least, I hope I’ve acquainted you with a form that may prove useful to you in the future too.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the poem, Georgina. This summer’s weather has certainly been interesting, hasn’t it? I hope the wedding went/goes well and that your family are all thriving. We are supposed to be spending next week near Chesterfield and we hope it won’t be too wet. My daughter works in Manchester and lives in Sheffield and has been working from home this week as all the trains are still cancelled because of flooding.
    Your sunny photos are lovely!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh dear, I know. I only recently used that line! Seems to be improving for some of the residents. Wedding went well with the best day of sunshine last week. Made for glorious photos but a very memorable day for all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. All is well. Our nature is still here, but very threatened by those who want to exploit it. We need nature. Our efforts to save nature is now in a high instance waiting for answers. We’ll see how it goes. I hope nature wins 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  4. An interesting thought-provoking post, thank you! Sounds like you’ve had a full and eventful family time back here, I’m sure you’ve loved every minute! Here in Wales there are also frequent reminders of our industrial past in the landscape, many now absorbed into it or having another incarnation as museums or even leisure facilities. I was in London for much of the heatwave, welcoming in grandchild number 7, so little blogging activity from me also. Back in Wales I think we’ve been fortunate & escaped the worst of the rain here although what we have had has been heavy-lots of rainbows too though!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. a soulful poem reminding us that life hasn’t been easy over the times.

    Great shots and very valid excuses for being absent for a while … do you live in Seville now? It’s my favourite Spanish town 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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