Sunday, August 9, 2009

Walk by a Brook

A quiet walk along a small brook in the Essex countryside on a hot afternoon. Like the blackberries, sloes are thick on the bush, a soft dark sheen on their fruits, Rosebay willowherb lines the bank,and the Essex fields stretch out in the flat land full of ripe wheat, some fields are already harvested. Heavy green woods edge the fields, and butterflies and demoiselles galore. An old oak, probably 20 foot round, is full of acorns even though it is partly hollow inside, concrete posts support the bank on which it grows, this is a great giant which must be a couple of hundred years old, if not older. Children play in the ford down the narrow lane.

Dappled sunlight on the brook

Old Oak tree


The ford

Banks of Willow herb (fireweed)
And a rather trite rythming poem from Tennyson
called The Brook....

I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever .


  1. I'm glad that your oak is full of acorns, the one in my garden is not looking very thrilled with life at the moment, the leaves look as though they have rust, I just hope it isn't this awful disease that is affecting oak trees.
    I like Tennyson's poem - I've always liked poems that have a nice rhythm to them.

  2. Hi Rowan, This oak looked pretty healthy as far as the leaves were concerned, did'nt know that oaks are beginning to be affected by disease that is sad. Okay Tennyson poetry is not bad, but when the rythm is obvious you begin to think he must have sat down half asleep ;)

  3. I agree. And the rhyme as well:
    When he starts throwing in a grayling for no apparent reason, I get a touch suspicious :-)
    Do you reckon that today's readers are more critical than his contempories were?

    Your own poetic writing in this post has a greater impact on me than the actual poem of the man himself.

  4. "Do you reckon that today's readers are more critical than his contempories were?"

    Yes, modern poetry has changed our perception of how poems should read, and what lies behind them.
    Your rose; Graham Thomas's parentage is Charles Austin x seedling, raised in 1983, so it says in my book, Charles Austin is very similar to the Graham one, perhaps you just had a bad plant!

  5. You forgot to include R."Iceberg" in your (x seedling), which makes a difference.
    I usually go back a few generations as well in my descriptions.

    Bad stock prevails, as the breeders' rights are bought by others and the stock is not always the best. Another reason to grow them on their own roots.
    So you visited? No comments?
    I have closed up now, for that very reason. People seem to think that on line manners don't matter.