The poetry in place names.

I have often thought that many place names are in themselves a form of poetry, or are poetic in some way- think Zanzibar, Guadalajara, Taj Mahal, the Moluccas, the Himalaya, Madagascar (is it just coincidence that these all contain the letter ‘a’?). Of course, it is all a matter of opinion; beauty is in the eye of the beholder, poetry in the ear of the listener.

For me the river Guadalquivir (stress on the first and last syllables, and the Spanish ‘v’ sounding more like a ‘b’) has poetry in its name. A major river of Spain, flowing through Cordoba and Seville, I visited it recently in the latter city, and wrote this simple piece in celebration of it.


Seville, 2015 077
Lovers by the river,
the Guadalquivir.

Rowers on the river,
the Guadalquivir.

Warm breeze off the river,
the Guadalquivir.

Low sun across the river,
the Guadalquivir.

Life flows down the river,
the Guadalquivir,
the Guadalquivir.

© David Urwin Seville October 2015



About jadedmountain

I am a poet, living a rural life in south-west Wales. The purpose of this blog is to publicise my poetry.
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6 Responses to The poetry in place names.

  1. Anne Marie Butler says:

    This flows quietly by and the reptitive sound of a beautiful name is soothing.
    I think this could easily lend itself to song .


  2. Charlie Sharp says:

    “Where the river’s shadow touches down,
    Smoothing stone, riffling sand.” c#

    Extract from the song ‘Blue Note’.
    Also discretely stitched into the hem of Cardigan’s Cardigan.


  3. Thank you, Annie. A good idea.


  4. franca says:



  5. franca says:

    Dave, simply I did not remember I opened a word press blog some months ago and I found in my papers the proper password! So now I will be able to comment your poems again


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