My journey back in time takes me into the pages of The Dartfordian (1966), the annual school magazine, where I am able to reacquaint myself with the child-self struggling to find a way into more maturity through a sea of testosterone. Writing poetry helped - two of my poems printed in the magazine are reproduced in this blog. My art work provided meaning too. One 'urban' watercolour of mine that found its way into The Dartfordian (1967) will be here in the second part of this posting in a week or two for you to see. Actually, my collector's and archivist's instincts have seen my sixth-form artwork travel safely though a half-century and more of movement so I am able to illustrate this poetry post with some of that work.
|'And they asked me why ….' - Rob Donovan (1966)|
But this blog is not just about me; I want to celebrate others and give you, now, a sense of what it was like to be alive in that privileged grammar-school culture as the decade of the Sixties shifted the 'structure of feeling' in society (Raymond William's telling expression) in a new and radically different direction.
For starters, a poem: 'Under an Ancient Tree', and other fragments:
The poem can speak for itself. I can still remember where I lay, under that tree, inside the school grounds one hot summer's afternoon in a free period - and how I felt, inside my head, creating the template memory for a lifetime. But also of interest to me now is the other content on