National Poetry Day

Today, 2nd October, has been National Poetry Day so I thought I’d dig out a book I stumbled across some while ago by James Muirden called 100 Brits – A rhyming history from Bede to Beckham. Before you click out, there is good reason, and this is to be found on page75, with  a poem about Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

I won’t transcribe the whole rhyme for obvious reasons, but here’s a few small bites to tempt the taste buds:

‘The English garden underwent

a major change when William Kent.

(Brown’s master) gave up tidy hedges,

and flower beds with gravelled edges.

_ _ _

Your trees are mostly misaligned;

your contours must be redesigned;

but it will seem au naturel,

so far as visitors can tell!

_ _ _

Brown got the setters of the trend

to rip out fences, and extend

their acres in a seamless sweep

enlivened by colluding sheep…

_ _ _

His famous nickname celebrates

his sales patter – all estates

were ‘capable’, as you’d expect,

once he’d gone around and checked!

_ _ _

To gaze on Brown’s work helps us sense

the solid Georgian confidence

that made those mighty garden-makers

uplift or scrape down countless acres.

© James Muirden 2007

A good deal more of the rhyme awaits discovery, as do many others including William Hogarth, Edwin Lutyens and Jane Austin. Maybe this will inspire you to create your own Brownian poetry, and of course I’d be happy to share it far and wide on here – do send it in!

If you’d like to acquire a copy of the book, look to ISBN: 1-84024-611-1



About Lancelot Capability Brown

Hello and Welcome to my Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown blog! I thrive on the richness and diversity found within our historic gardens and landscapes and I hope through this blog to paint a picture of Lancelot Brown’s 18th Century world, his landscapes and life. I’d like this blog to spread the Brownian word far and wide, so please join in, suggest post subjects, send in potential articles or links to anything and everything with 'Capability'. I’ll also be looking forward to the Capability Brown Tercentenary Celebration of his birth in 2016, and look forward to an incredible year where the work of Brown can receive more praise and recognition than ever before. I've also launched a Twitter account under the title of @Brown2016 where for the next few years I plan to help spread the word and at the very least play my part in the build-up to a special year for all who enjoy landscape gardening in its true form. All views are my own and do not represent those of any organisation.
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