Saturday, November 20, 2010

Peerless Pool



Many things have been 'peerless',
Meaning without a peer;
Meaning the peak of perfection
Or something very near.
Cars, and motor-bikes and boats,
Have claimed this accolade,
The makers hinting they're the best,
The finest ever made.
But the 'peerless' thing I like the best,
And of which I'm very fond,
Is the Peerless Pool that started out
Just as a Perilous Pond!
In the sixteen hundreds
It simply started as a spring
Which flowed into the London streets,
Just meandering.
There it formed a little pond
In which many young men drowned!
So the frightening adjective 'perilous'
Suited it, they found.

In 1743 the pond
Was converted to a pool
Surrounded by trees that were shady,
So in summer it was cool.
It became The Peerless Pool;
The Perilous Pond was gone.
It became a London amenity
Which now we look back upon.
Bathers changed in a vestibule
And descended marble stairs
To cool themselves in the water
And to wash away their cares.
There was a library, a bowling green,
Ice-skating in the cold!
In fact there were Pleasure Gardens,
Quite modern to behold!
There was even a little fish-pond
Stocked with many fish
So all the landed gentry
Could catch all that they might wish!
It cost one shilling a visit
So only the rich could pay,
And all the local riffraff
Had to stay away.
A hundred years later the Peerless Pool
Existed only in name.
Only Peerless Street remains,
And I think that's a shame.

For 'one brief shining moment'
The Peerless Pool existed!
And when it was bricked-over......
No-one even missed it!



(An Acrostic)

Fear that it's too good to last!
Already, though, the die is cast.
Two hearts that seem to beat as one,
Aching until the war is won.
Love is surely not this pain!
And will we pass this way again?
Tenderness but also threat
This will leave me with regret.
Romance should be light and airy
And yet, with you, there's something scary!
Can I walk away from you?
Tell me me what I ought to do!
I am putty in your hands!
Oh this love makes such demands!
Never go!
I need you so!


kaykuala said...

How refreshing! You brought us back through that episode of history for which many may not know about. Your treatment is fantastic and very aptly applied to the prompt. Good show, Ma'am!

Anonymous said...

This is great, Rinkly: a good poem and a social history lesson. I knew that ancient rivers went underground in London, as they shrank or were built over, but you have put a whole new perspective on this. Peerless poem for the prompt!

Anonymous said...

I don't know where my comment went this morning - into the spam box perhaps! I love the way you have tackled this prompt: poetry, history, social commentary - it's got the lot. Bravo.

Elizabeth said...

I really like your history lessons couched in poetic form. Definitely makes them memorable. I like the idea of a peerless pond that springs from a perolous one. But what would one see when peering into such an entity?


e@thejoyofbeingamonkeywrench said...

loved the history lesson.

Stan Ski said...

Great to be able to learn from a blog post!