December 20, 2011 by bethanjthomas
I never really understood poetry when I was at school. The closest I came was a deep understanding of the melancholy of Leonard Cohen. Given that he’s written many a poetry book, I was content to think that this was enough.
And then I got a rather strange phone call at work a few months ago. It was from Britain’s Tea Poet. Yes. We have a tea poet. Yes. She writes poems. About tea.
Now I often get funny looks from people when I explain that essentially I’m a ‘tea lady’ and have been helping to sell tea for almost have a decade. Given this, I can only imagine that looks that the lovely Elizabeth Darcy Jones receives on occasion. However, Liz is certainly not one to be phased by any surprise at her career of choice.
We met at my London office on a damp Autumn day, and her discerningly charming enthusiasm for tea won me over. She’d drunk a cup of earl grey that had originated in our factory, and she’d been inspired. It inspired her to think of Nigel Havers, and with that she wrote a poem. About our earl grey and Nigel Havers.
Who couldn’t be charmed by the pure eccentricity of it all? I immediately agreed that we’d support her in her poetea mission. Yes, this is a term that was used.
Liz has just published a book and is part way through a charity tour in aid of the Samaritans. I arranged for her to have 1000 cups of tea in support, and now this blog.
However, shouldn’t shock you, that I recently found out that the reason for Liz taking a short break from touring over Christmas, is that she is visiting her partner who is a circus master in France. Yes, a French circus master. And so it is…tea, poems and a big top.
He’s such a Nigel Havers of a tea
His grey is warm and lustrous as a pearl
His scent reminds you you’re nobility
He treats you like a lady not a girl
His breath of bergamot is from an age
Of Georgian fancies, lace and lemon curd
But you and not the tea take centre stage
Earl Grey is quiet – he does not say a word
This titled tea insists that we’re polite
He puts a finger on our longing lips
And as he does he fills us with delight
We taste him taking tiny little sips…
Dreaming of his slender fingertips…