Friday, September 29, 2017

On Poetry Day




There was a poem I cannot remember it now, about a cottage in the woods, which was always my favourite. so Robert Frost and his poem to fill in those gaps of memory.  My other poem of choice is Edmin Muir - The Horses.  There is a narrative to this poem, and now as the war drums play faintly in the air and idiots rule a good time to pull it out of my dusty memory.




Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village, though;

He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.



My little horse must think it queer 

To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.



He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake. 
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.



The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep.

----------------------------

The Horses by Edwin Muir.


Barely a twelvemonth after
The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
Late in the evening the strange horses came.
By then we had made our covenant with silence,
But in the first few days it was so still
We listened to our breathing and were afraid.
On the second day
The radios failed; we turned the knobs; no answer.
On the third day a warship passed us, heading north,
Dead bodies piled on the deck. On the sixth day
A plane plunged over us into the sea. Thereafter
Nothing. The radios dumb;
And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,
And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms
All over the world. But now if they should speak,
If on a sudden they should speak again,
If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,
We would not listen, we would not let it bring
That old bad world that swallowed its children quick
At one great gulp. We would not have it again.
Sometimes we think of the nations lying asleep,
Curled blindly in impenetrable sorrow,
And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness.
The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
They look like dank sea-monsters couched and waiting.
We leave them where they are and let them rust:
'They'll molder away and be like other loam.'
We make our oxen drag our rusty plows,
Long laid aside. We have gone back
Far past our fathers' land.
And then, that evening
Late in the summer the strange horses came.
We heard a distant tapping on the road,
A deepening drumming; it stopped, went on again
And at the corner changed to hollow thunder.
We saw the heads
Like a wild wave charging and were afraid.
We had sold our horses in our fathers' time
To buy new tractors. Now they were strange to us
As fabulous steeds set on an ancient shield.
Or illustrations in a book of knights.
We did not dare go near them. Yet they waited,
Stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent
By an old command to find our whereabouts
And that long-lost archaic companionship.
In the first moment we had never a thought
That they were creatures to be owned and used.
Among them were some half a dozen colts
Dropped in some wilderness of the broken world,
Yet new as if they had come from their own Eden.
Since then they have pulled our plows and borne our loads
But that free servitude still can pierce our hearts.
Our life is changed; their coming our beginning. 
BIG CATCH
At sunrise, glorious sunrise
it’s a big catch!
A big catch of sardines!

On the beach, it’s like a festival
but in the sea, they will hold
funerals
for the tens of thousands dead.

Misuzu Kaneko

4 comments:

  1. Our monthly Poetry meeting missed National Poetry day by one day (we always meet on a Wednesday). I wish you were near enough to join us -it is such a lovely afternoon and we have such a variety of poems.

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  2. It is a shame we don't live nearer Pat, I could come to a few of your 'outings'. The only one on the horizon is a 'ceildih dance next week, not up to it at the moment ;)

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  3. Favourite poems of mine too Thelma, and thank you for the introduction to Misuzu Kaneko.

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  4. Paul is going to buy her book of poems for his grandson, she had a sad life dying in her late 20s.

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