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Naming Of Parts

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Khandro | 23:38 Sat 21st Mar 2020 | Arts & Literature
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Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
Today we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighbouring gardens,
And today we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For today we have naming of parts.


Henry Reed (1942)

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Love this poem - always have done. So poignant.
One of my favourites too.

First time I've read this one - thank you Khandro
I am sure I have read a version of this with the line "periwinkles twinkle in all of the neighbouring lawns" but I can't find it
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^^ Don't think there are any 'versions' that's it. :0)
Here's a list of parodies of "Naming of parts". http://solearabiantree.net/namingofparts/parodies.php
Haven't time to look myself but you may "periwinkles twinkle" somewhere.
there's April (1862, so too early for Reed)

http://www.djo.org.uk/all-the-year-round/volume-vii/page-107.html
My goodness, takes me way back to GCEs, that and Dulce Es Decorum Est. I could visualise the bees lazily buzzing around the garcen in the sunshine.
Thank you for that Khandro.

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