Tag Archives: Hardy Country

Coddiwompling through Dorset England. For Dverse Poets

This poem is inspired by Dverse poets Dverse and the strange word coddiwomple. This seems to be defined as English slang but as I had never come across this I was gripped by a resfeber feeling( travel fever)  to see if I could find where the word had originated from. It’s not in the Oxford dictionary yet, unlike lolly gagging! However it has a kind of ancient ring to it. Maybe a cross between a cod piece and a wimple.  I am travelling through Dorset to visit a friend. Dorset is stunningly beautiful but has so many strange, odd and rude sounding place names. I always want to find out more.It is also a place for going on a literary tour with Thomas Hardy and others. But most important perhaps in the struggle for equality is Tolpuddle.

For me it’s not where we travel to but how we travel anywhere. Hopefully then our minds can be opened to different experiences and understandings.

If you coddiwomple in Dorset as I am doing now

You pass by place names so fun and strange.

Some will tempt you back to visit

Some will remind you of the past

Some will scare your wits away.

Fiddleford is one where maybe someone fiddled by a stream

But what they fiddled may have been a dream

If they could happily wander up the the river Piddle

And excuse themselves with just a little widdle

Dorset farming folk out in the cold.

From Roman times in Blandford Forum

No slave could ever make a quorum

The ancient chalk giant at Cerne Abbas

Still well endowed with great prowess

His private part gives hope for future births

Dorset folk of old from Celt to Roman bold.

Down to the coast to find a woman’s love

For her lieutenant looking out to sea

Lyme Regis, royal and proud

Among the fossils of prehistoric swamps

Ammonite from Jurasiic Times.

Dorset fossil hunters find a kind of gold.

To roll along on paths through Hardy’s  heavenly hills

Farming folk and friends of Tess

Characters in dark distress

Obscured within the depths of native woods.

Good folk must prevail for Dorchester jail.

The devil never far away with rocks thrown down

To make Old Harry and Aggleston

Places like Dewlish are devilish and Grim’s Ditch

Makes the Pokesdown goblins twitch.

Dorset folk beware the uncanny in the air.

But now in modern times when we’re coddiwompling along

To pass by Puddletown is easily done

We go too fast on the new highway

And can now by pass the place of martyred men

Tolpuddle and its meeting tree

Dorset folk who wanted to be free.

From coach window travelling to Dorset.