Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Afterwards by Thomas Hardy

When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
"He was a man who used to notice such things"? 
If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless blink,
The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
"To him this must have been a familiar sight." 
If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
One may say, "He strove that such innocent creatures should come to no harm,
But he could do little for them; and now he is gone." 
If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,
Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
"He was one who had an eye for such mysteries"? 
And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the gloom,
And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
Till they rise again, as they were a new bell's boom,
"He hears it not now, but used to notice such things"?

How perfect this, from Thomas Hardy, gifted to me this week by Facebook friend Jeanne Walker after she read my poem The Landscape. The Landscape was chosen by Jen Compton for her Tuesday Poem blog last week, and here's what Jeanne said:
It is amazing how much detail we notice and savour when we realise how temporary everything is, when we see how the encoded shadows of ultrasounds, cat scans and x ray have real implications. You might enjoy Thomas Hardy's poem Afterwards - your leaves & observations reminded me of Hardy's May month leaves & observations.
So thanks Jeanne and Thomas! And here's Jeremy Irons reading the poem....  


Orchid said...


Melissa Green said...

Thank you so much, Mary dear, for reminding me of this wonderful Hardy poem and hearing Jeremy Irons read it (swoon!). Hope all is well. xo

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mary. Dear Thomas Hardy! He is surprisingly modern for his age.
That deep wisdom ...like Shakespear that never grows old :-)

T. said...

What a lovely addition to my cold November night!

Thanks, Mary.