In Memoriam: A Tribute to Joan Constance Croft
Joan Constance Croft was born February 25, 1921 and died December 30, 2005. She was a great lover of the English language and particularly the way in which it could be used to convey to the reader or listener not just a verbal message but especially a message affording an added instant visual impact particularly when concerning a humanitarian matter. She used this technique in all her poems particularly “No need for Tears” inspired by the grief she experienced when she lost her Mother at the age of thirteen when her Mother was 38 years old; she wished to protect us from the grief she experienced then, hence the allegorical use of the shell on the beach in the first line of “Mourn not the Shell;” clearly an idea she had formulated many years before it was published in Education Update in 2003. Her poem “Diana’s Message” very much appreciated by Earl Spencer, Diana’s Brother.
She was an amazingly loving wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother and we shall all miss her but are fortunate in having such happy memories especially her last Christmas day when she and I sang “Dancing with my shadow” written in 1933. She said having sung the song with me “You see Rodney those song lyrics were then so visual!”
Dancing with my shadow, feeling kind of blue, dancing with my shadow and making believe it’s you
In my dreams it seems you are my own again, then I wake and find that I’m alone again
Dancing with my shadow feeling kind of blue, dancing with my shadow and making believe it’s you.
A truly graceful English lady who had a rare and envious poetic command of the English language which she used to convey her experiences and observations of life, shared by so many others who were grateful for her poetic interpretations of the emotions they too had experienced.#
Mr. Rodney Croft is a vascular surgeon in London and has been a contributor to Education Update.
By Joan Constance Croft
Now the muffled bell is still
Red tunics put away,
All the flowers have wilted
Not so my memories of that day.
I heard your cheers and felt your tears
Only sad I could not say
How my heart was gladdened
By your show of love that day.
But I would have you dry your tears,
Your vision be not blurred
To causes needing all your love
And suffering that stirred my heart
to seek the means
By which to serve them best.
Reach out your arms, give support,
Don’t fail this crucial test.
To tend the sick and feed the poor,
Ban wicked landmines evermore,
Oust the paparazzi pack,
See decency and dignity come back.
If these achievements you can gain,
My dying will not have been in vain.
This poem was sent to Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, who responded with a lovely letter of thanks and appreciation from Althorpe to Mr. Rodney Croft.