Shadforth WI Poets' Corner
Many members of Shadforth WI write and submit poems for competitions. Women of Influence discusses women throughout history, up to the WI today. Similarly, a special poem, written by C. Day Lewis, talks about the origins of the WI, the influence of the WI in rural communities as the WI expanded, and the role of the WI in the Golden Jubilee Year of 1965, for which the poem was created (see below)!
Women of Influence (By J.L., May 2005)
Boadicea in combat chariot, the Iceni to protect,
fought with strength and vigour, the Romans to eject
her name writ in history, which even today we respect.
Good Queen Bess, ever the subtle diplomat, she did impress,
and, with Drakes’ help the Armada was stoutly suppressed,
long she reigned with prudence, tact and cleverness.
Elizabeth Fry worked with prisoners, their lot to revolutionise,
she achieve with compassion and determination, and no compromise,
if a women of today, she would win a Noble Prize.
Queen Victoria, Empress of India, her Albert she did adore,
reigning sixty four years, made Britain Great, our Ambassador,
some of her values, perhaps we should restore.
Our Darling Grace pulled many shipwrecked sailors from the cruel sea,
her courage and fortitude helping her battle the elements, ceaselessly,
Lifeboats of today carry on this work, it is her legacy.
Florence, the “Lady of the Lamp”, nursed soldiers who could live or die,
upon that battlefield of Crimea, their wounds and sores did horrify,
but her work is the foundation that today’s nurses should personify.
Emmeline and Emily, suffragettes, lived dangerously to secure us the vote,
we must use this gift, gained with hardship, our rights to promote,
they gave of themselves, to have these laws re-wrote.
Nancy Astor, our first Member of Parliament,
proved we could win against the establishment,
our aims and aspirations evolve from her consequence.
Scones, cakes and pastries, and a dab hand with the kitchen range,
Mrs Beaton’s recipe books had well worn corners on every page,
the forerunner of the TV chef “I bet she could still put them in the shade!”
Dame Margot with partner Nureyev, epitomised the Ballerina,
her skill on points had world acclaim, she was the original Diva,
thousands follow in her footsteps trying to emulate her demeanour.
Lady Denman of WI fame, bequeathed to us our college,
hoping we would use it well, to further all our knowledge,
this place of learning and achievement should never be abolished!
Mary Quant revolutionized our fashion in the sixties,
with skirts so short, if not careful would show off your panties,
sending red blooded young men into flights of fancy.
Then along came Maggie Thatcher to give us lots more freedom,
to buy your house and choose the school, this she guaranteed them,
this Lady was not for turning, to this we can all say “Amen”.
Hecklers in the Commons came to respect and fear the “Speaker”,
Betty Boothroyd would brook no rowdiness, or a “Streaker”,
to champion the rights of women, she doesn’t need a loudspeaker.
Harry Potter stories are a must for parents and kids alike,
J.K. Rowling, has Wizards, Monsters and Magic to sate your appetite,
but Harry, solving mysteries and riddles, is no “Snow White”.
As your body is a Temple, you mustn’t abuse it with Chemistry,
so Ms Rodick set up “Body Shop”, standing for purity with integrity,
her creams and lotions in basic jars would never cause you injury.
Lastly, but not least, the women of our Federation,
who together can silence politics, and bring changes to regulations,
rejoicing in friendship and an affinity with other nations,
We are today’s women working toward a better civilisation.