Simon Corbett


Simon PW Corbett

  • Simon PW Corbett

    Patrick’s father Simon was an unpublished poet, and although it is many years since his death in 1976, Patrick retrospectively considers his father to have been a big influence on him. The picture below shows him with his father Simon en-route to a camping holiday in Wales (ca. 1970)

    Simon and Patrick en-route to Wales (PC)

  • Simon left a significant body of poems of which The Soul’s Geology and Worth Fete, shown here, are examples.

    He was also a keen birdwatcher and author of the "Year of the Wallcreeper", which describes a year in the Isle of Purbeck:

    Simon's book, published by the family

  • Worth Fete

    On a windy day of summer,
    when sea breezes bronze the face,
    pours over stone-walled field and hillside
    shadows on cross-country race,

    And snatch the hems of flowered frocks of
    smiling ladies at the stalls,
    who sell home-made cakes, give prizes
    for bulls’ eyes scored and well-tossed balls,

    Athwart the Norman church we launch
    our irresponsible balloons,
    each loaded with some Purbeck graces –
    goodwill gifts in coloured moons.

    They bear compassion east to Russia,
    good neighbour’s love to France
    and warmth of heart goes north to Norway;
    Denmark gets our consonance.

    To Belgium, faith that we remember:
    Holland, courage shared; and yet
    remembering, to Germany,
    determination to forget.

    And south to Spain and Portugal,
    and Italy, go sailing forth,
    with change of wind, serenity
    from the placid South of our North.

    To Sweden and to Switzerland
    we send our special brand of fun,
    and Finland vies with Poland for
    our generosity, home-spun.

    Purbeck women, Purbeck men,
    together at their village fete,
    consign to winds their worth-while-ways
    for Europe to appropriate.

    The above poem refers to a fete held in the village of Worth Matravers, on the Purbeck Heritage Coast, in Dorset in the 1950s.

    Worth Fête still brings the community together every year - an account of the 2019 fete can be found here.

  • The Soul's Geology

    Come, sit with me beneath this holm-oak tree
    And let me teach you Man’s geology.
    The souls of Man consists of molten core
    Amorphous, liquid, chemical before
    His birth: Pre-Cambrian, unstable lie
    The algae of his personality.
    In early infancy the young soul’s state
    Is pliable, unwise, invertebrate,
    Until some disciplines of childhood bring
    Cambrian rock of faith, the will to cling
    To agglomerates of habit and convention –
    Bare peaks of evil shunned and good intention.
    In youth explode igneous cliffs of Gneiss
    Pour out hot lava streams of Virtue, Vice,
    When molten torrents sweep before them all
    Obstructions in their path: sand-castles fall,
    Until Man sets a new Jurassic course
    Into Miocene manhood: from this source
    He builds a rounded landscape, more subdued
    In colour, but in contour yet more shrewd
    And when the soul achieves Pliocene Age,
    He stands a weathered statue on life’s stage –
    Immutable in colour, fixed in form,
    Unalterable by Nuclear storm.