Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Graffiti by Mary McCallum

Pencilled deep on driftwood
down where the tide
draws a line, as stencils
on sheep pens, as vegetables
on blackboards, as spelling lists
on cardboard in blue  felt   tip.

My.    Like.     Can.    Mary.
Each word its own laboured tick
and under and small: Noah 6.

and where will you go with
these beauties, child,
these restless arks, these rocket

How will my 
possess you? How many likes
will you favour? And can,
will it do? What aspect of Mary 
will there be in your nature, too,
not yet adrift on that splashing water, but
attached by paper and pencil, by finger
and thumb, by wrist and elbow, by
shoulder and head, by head and brain,
by lung and leg and ankle and shoe, to
words of one syllable, and other
simplicities like bikes and pets. Except

for Mary, of all names.
Strange to see it keeping company
here, more adjective than noun.

The things you find on the beach that get you thinking... Tuesday Poem hub this week hosts Dinah Hawken's Hope selected by Keith Westwater. Do click on the quill in the sidebar to visit or click here www.tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday Poem: This Lime-tree Bower my Prison by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

[Addressed to Charles Lamb, of the India House, London]
Well, they are gone, and here must I remain,
This lime-tree bower my prison! I have lost
Beauties and feelings, such as would have been
Most sweet to my remembrance even when age
Had dimm'd mine eyes to blindness! They, meanwhile,
Friends, whom I never more may meet again,
On springy heath, along the hill-top edge,
Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance,
To that still roaring dell, of which I told;
The roaring dell, o'erwooded, narrow, deep,
And only speckled by the mid-day sun;
Where its slim trunk the ash from rock to rock
Flings arching like a bridge;—that branchless ash,
Unsunn'd and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves
Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still,
Fann'd by the water-fall! and there my friends
Behold the dark green file of long lank weeds,
That all at once (a most fantastic sight!)
Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge
Of the blue clay-stone.

                        Now, my friends emerge
Beneath the wide wide Heaven—and view again
The many-steepled tract magnificent
Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea,
With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two Isles
Of purple shadow! Yes! they wander on
In gladness all; but thou, methinks, most glad,
My gentle-hearted Charles! for thou hast pined
And hunger'd after Nature, many a year,
In the great City pent, winning thy way
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain
And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun!
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb,
Ye purple heath-flowers! richlier burn, ye clouds!
Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves!
And kindle, thou blue Ocean! So my friend
Struck with deep joy may stand, as I have stood,
Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round
On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem
Less gross than bodily; and of such hues
As veil the Almighty Spirit, when yet he makes
Spirits perceive his presence.

                        A delight
Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad
As I myself were there! Nor in this bower,
This little lime-tree bower, have I not mark'd
Much that has sooth'd me. Pale beneath the blaze
Hung the transparent foliage; and I watch'd
Some broad and sunny leaf, and lov'd to see
The shadow of the leaf and stem above
Dappling its sunshine! And that walnut-tree
Was richly ting'd, and a deep radiance lay
Full on the ancient ivy, which usurps
Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest mass
Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue
Through the late twilight: and though now the bat
Wheels silent by, and not a swallow twitters,
Yet still the solitary humble-bee
Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall know
That Nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure;
No plot so narrow, be but Nature there,
No waste so vacant, but may well employ
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart
Awake to Love and Beauty! and sometimes
'Tis well to be bereft of promis'd good,
That we may lift the soul, and contemplate
With lively joy the joys we cannot share.
My gentle-hearted Charles! when the last rook
Beat its straight path along the dusky air
Homewards, I blest it! deeming its black wing
(Now a dim speck, now vanishing in light)
Had cross'd the mighty Orb's dilated glory,
While thou stood'st gazing; or, when all was still,
Flew creeking o'er thy head, and had a charm
For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to whom
No sound is dissonant which tells of Life.

I've been thinking of this poem recently - not sure why. That second line hangs out in my head along with many other wonderful lines from university study-the-Romantics days. I remember going to a the garden of a friend of a friend outside London a few years after university finished. He was a retired maker of shoes and talked about 'lasts' etc and had a lovely drooping lime tree which we stood under (inside, really) into the twilight ... 'a delight' no less. 

Don't you love this passage? 

Now, my friends emerge
Beneath the wide wide Heaven—and view again
The many-steepled tract magnificent
Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea,
With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two Isles
Of purple shadow!

So much compressed into there, such a hugeness of vision and yet caught inside those controlled and perfect words. The third line, hear those sounds... 

Now do go to the Tuesday Poem hub by clicking on the quill in the sidebar for a poem translated from the Russian, and the original Russian is there too, thanks to Orchid Tierney. Lovely. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Where the Sister Walks by Sarah Jane Barnett

 I am editor at the hub again! And this time I've chosen Sarah Jane Barnett's Where the Sister Walks from her collection A Man Runs into A Woman (Hue & Cry 2012). Do take a moment to check it out. http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/when-sister-walks-by-sarah-jane-barnett.html

Anyone else having blogger issues today and yesterday? I can't link or put up photographs. The toolbar for composing posts looks weird and won't work. Anyone any idea why?