Poem in October

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Dylan Thomas

For reading click here .. poem in october – dylan thomas

“the mussel pooled and heron Priested shore”

It was my thirtieth year to heaven

Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood

And the mussel pooled and the heron

Priested shore

The morning beckon

With water praying and call of seagull and rook

And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall

Myself to set foot

That second

In the still sleeping town and set forth.

My birthday began with the water-

Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name

Above the farms and the white horses

And I rose

In rainy autumn

And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.

High tide and the heron dived when I took the road

Over the border

And the gates

Of the town closed as the town awoke.

A springful of larks in a rolling

Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling

Blackbirds and the sun of October

Summery

On the hill’s shoulder,

Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly

Come in the morning where I wandered and listened

To the rain wringing

Wind blow cold

In the wood faraway under me.

Pale rain over the dwindling harbour

And over the sea wet church the size of a snail

With its horns through mist and the castle

Brown as owls

But all the gardens

Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales

Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.

There could I marvel

My birthday

Away but the weather turned around.

It turned away from the blithe country

And down the other air and the blue altered sky

Streamed again a wonder of summer

With apples

Pears and red currants

And I saw in the turning so clearly a child’s

Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother

Through the parables

Of sun light

And the legends of the green chapels

And the twice told fields of infancy

That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.

These were the woods the river and sea

Where a boy

In the listening

Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy

To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.

And the mystery

Sang alive

Still in the water and singingbirds.

And there could I marvel my birthday

Away but the weather turned around. And the true

Joy of the long dead child sang burning

In the sun.

It was my thirtieth

Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon

Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.

O may my heart’s truth

Still be sung

On this high hill in a year’s turning.

The Darkling thrush

Thomas Hardy

For reading click here …the darkling thrush thomas hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
    The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
    Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
    Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
    The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
    The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
    Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
    Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
    The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
    Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt and small,
    In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
    Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
    Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
    Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
    His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
    And I was unaware.

The world’s a-quiver

Wikipedia: Brownian motion is the random motion of particles suspended in a liquid or a gas

TS Eliot The Dry Salvages: “I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god-sullen, untamed and intractable”

For reading click here … Brownian motion

This life is like a river

A silver shiver this life

A gurgling-guddling quick’ning sliver

Wrangling-tangle of strife

 

All we be is water-taught

Aught but water our withal

Our tumbling jumbling ripple of thought

Pride before a waterfall

 

Strong brown God is the river

Reiver of sods and odds thrown

Our brownian drownian motion a-quiver

Deep pooled in tides of its own

 

Our day is like a lifetime

Wild thyme and strawberry day

But frighteningly nightly tight-coiling the lifeline

Which runs through death and decay

 

Well the still point of the world

Whirled without end to be well

For waving and curling dimensions unfurled

Love which is ocean’s salt swell

Touching the Flow

I’m bumbling  bee not its sting

Flight of the gull not its wing

Not noun or thing-y at all

‘Cos I’m the bounce of a ball

Hop of a bird and its call

The verb, I am is to be

Container containing set free

Strong brown god striving to sea

For reading click here … touching the flow

All is not as it seems. Physics and Philosophy are pointing us to integration rather than differentiation. To wholeness rather than fragmentation.

The Nobel prize physicist David Bohm proposed that language is reshaped to focus on verbs, rather than nouns (subjects & objects). He calls this a “rheomode”, reflecting a reality of flow, of movement. He also picks up the insight of existential philosopher Martin Buber that we are the sum of our relationships – each to each.

And it’s relationship of waves not matter. In recent work Milo Wolff has shown that when thought of as intersecting standing waves, then reality can be described by simple equations. It is no longer necessary to invent a veritable zoo of exotic particles – and “dark” matter and energy. Wolff’s work is not new, but based on work by Maxwell, Schrodinger and Einstein.

Our watchwords, or better – watching words – and focus is shifting..

From nouns – to verbs..From quanta – to waves..From individuals – to connections..From fragmentation – to wholeness

.. or as Teilhard de Chardin would say – to the Omega Point – where humanity awakens to the reality of the whole, love.

My Beamish Boy

To my son

For a reading click here …my beamish boy

Smile and the world smiles upon you

In mirrored reflection of joy

Words weighted and precious as dew

From you then, as a boy

 

Supple-muscled lithesome and deft

Your kindness unfolding to strength

Your life an high arc-flighted ball

Both the speed and the length

 

Your mouth-curving happiness gifts

Quick flowing compassion for all

A tide-race of laughter that lifts

Smallness up to be tall

 

Rythmic and upbeat engagement

Your motto “We will, and we can”

Scottish Bass Rock protectively

Noble you gentle-fine-man

To the lighthouse

For my daughter

For a reading click here…to the lighthouse

As we walked out that golden afternoon

Toward the lighthouse, brisk o’er skyward road

The isle arose from bed of cirrus brume

Haar-spun candyfloss of light bestrowed

Melting butter incense scented gorse

The watchful pines conspir’d in secrecy

Disporting hares’ balletic spring discourse

Construed your nature’s green-fused ecstasy

Stepp’d you light through dunes to surf’s samphire sand

Sun crowned halo loosed hair engarlanded

Sea-flensed bottle strewn sapphire scattered strand

Whence garnered sea -cleansed shells sleight-handed

My evanescent love, my April show’r

Foregathered here-by thy dominions pow’r

The Wren

John Clare

For reading click here… the wren (john clare)

Why is the cuckoo’s melody preferred

And rich nightingale’s rich song so fondly praised

In poet’s rhymes? Is there no other bird

Of nature’s minstrelsy that oft hath raised

One’s heart to ecstasy and mirth as well?

I judge not how another’s taste is caught – 

With mine there’s other birds that bear the bell,

Whose song hath crowds of happy memories brought,

Such the wood robin singing in the dell

And little wren that many a time hath sought

Shelter from showers in huts where I did dwell

In early spring, the tenant of the plain

Tenting my sheep, and still they come to tell

The happy stories of the past again.

Little Gidding

TS Eliot

For reading click here..four quartets little gidding

I

Midwinter spring is its own season

Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,

Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.

When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,

The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,

In windless cold that is the heart’s heat,

Reflecting in a watery mirror

A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.

And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,

Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire

In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing

The soul’s sap quivers. There is no earth smell

Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time

But not in time’s covenant. Now the hedgerow

Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom

Of snow, a bloom more sudden

Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,

Not in the scheme of generation.

Where is the summer, the unimaginable

Zero summer?

              If you came this way,

Taking the route you would be likely to take

From the place you would be likely to come from,

If you came this way in may time, you would find the hedges

White again, in May, with voluptuary sweetness.

It would be the same at the end of the journey,

If you came at night like a broken king,

If you came by day not knowing what you came for,

It would be the same, when you leave the rough road

And turn behind the pig-sty to the dull facade

And the tombstone. And what you thought you came for

Is only a shell, a husk of meaning

From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled

If at all. Either you had no purpose

Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured

And is altered in fulfilment. There are other places

Which also are the world’s end, some at the sea jaws,

Or over a dark lake, in a desert or a city—

But this is the nearest, in place and time,

Now and in England.

              If you came this way,

Taking any route, starting from anywhere,

At any time or at any season,

It would always be the same: you would have to put off

Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,

Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity

Or carry report. You are here to kneel

Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more

Than an order of words, the conscious occupation

Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.

And what the dead had no speech for, when living,

They can tell you, being dead: the communication

Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.

Here, the intersection of the timeless moment

Is England and nowhere. Never and always.

II

Ash on an old man’s sleeve

Is all the ash the burnt roses leave.

Dust in the air suspended

Marks the place where a story ended.

Dust inbreathed was a house—

The walls, the wainscot and the mouse,

The death of hope and despair,

       This is the death of air.

There are flood and drouth

Over the eyes and in the mouth,

Dead water and dead sand

Contending for the upper hand.

The parched eviscerate soil

Gapes at the vanity of toil,

Laughs without mirth.

       This is the death of earth.

Water and fire succeed

The town, the pasture and the weed.

Water and fire deride

The sacrifice that we denied.

Water and fire shall rot

The marred foundations we forgot,

Of sanctuary and choir.

       This is the death of water and fire.

In the uncertain hour before the morning

     Near the ending of interminable night

     At the recurrent end of the unending

After the dark dove with the flickering tongue

     Had passed below the horizon of his homing

     While the dead leaves still rattled on like tin

Over the asphalt where no other sound was

     Between three districts whence the smoke arose

     I met one walking, loitering and hurried

As if blown towards me like the metal leaves

     Before the urban dawn wind unresisting.

     And as I fixed upon the down-turned face

That pointed scrutiny with which we challenge

     The first-met stranger in the waning dusk

     I caught the sudden look of some dead master

Whom I had known, forgotten, half recalled

     Both one and many; in the brown baked features

     The eyes of a familiar compound ghost

Both intimate and unidentifiable.

     So I assumed a double part, and cried

     And heard another’s voice cry: ‘What! are you here?’

Although we were not. I was still the same,

     Knowing myself yet being someone other—

     And he a face still forming; yet the words sufficed

To compel the recognition they preceded.

     And so, compliant to the common wind,

     Too strange to each other for misunderstanding,

In concord at this intersection time

     Of meeting nowhere, no before and after,

     We trod the pavement in a dead patrol.

I said: ‘The wonder that I feel is easy,

     Yet ease is cause of wonder. Therefore speak:

     I may not comprehend, may not remember.’

And he: ‘I am not eager to rehearse

     My thoughts and theory which you have forgotten.

     These things have served their purpose: let them be.

So with your own, and pray they be forgiven

     By others, as I pray you to forgive

     Both bad and good. Last season’s fruit is eaten

And the fullfed beast shall kick the empty pail.

     For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

     And next year’s words await another voice.

But, as the passage now presents no hindrance

     To the spirit unappeased and peregrine

     Between two worlds become much like each other,

So I find words I never thought to speak

     In streets I never thought I should revisit

     When I left my body on a distant shore.

Since our concern was speech, and speech impelled us

     To purify the dialect of the tribe

     And urge the mind to aftersight and foresight,

Let me disclose the gifts reserved for age

     To set a crown upon your lifetime’s effort.

     First, the cold friction of expiring sense

Without enchantment, offering no promise

     But bitter tastelessness of shadow fruit

     As body and soul begin to fall asunder.

Second, the conscious impotence of rage

     At human folly, and the laceration

     Of laughter at what ceases to amuse.

And last, the rending pain of re-enactment

     Of all that you have done, and been; the shame

     Of motives late revealed, and the awareness

Of things ill done and done to others’ harm

     Which once you took for exercise of virtue.

     Then fools’ approval stings, and honour stains.

From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit

     Proceeds, unless restored by that refining fire

     Where you must move in measure, like a dancer.’

The day was breaking. In the disfigured street

     He left me, with a kind of valediction,

     And faded on the blowing of the horn.

III

There are three conditions which often look alike

Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:

Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment

From self and from things and from persons; and, growing between them, indifference

Which resembles the others as death resembles life,

Being between two lives—unflowering, between

The live and the dead nettle. This is the use of memory:

For liberation—not less of love but expanding

Of love beyond desire, and so liberation

From the future as well as the past. Thus, love of a country

Begins as attachment to our own field of action

And comes to find that action of little importance

Though never indifferent. History may be servitude,

History may be freedom. See, now they vanish,

The faces and places, with the self which, as it could, loved them,

To become renewed, transfigured, in another pattern.

Sin is Behovely, but

All shall be well, and

All manner of thing shall be well.

If I think, again, of this place,

And of people, not wholly commendable,

Of no immediate kin or kindness,

But of some peculiar genius,

All touched by a common genius,

United in the strife which divided them;

If I think of a king at nightfall,

Of three men, and more, on the scaffold

And a few who died forgotten

In other places, here and abroad,

And of one who died blind and quiet

Why should we celebrate

These dead men more than the dying?

It is not to ring the bell backward

Nor is it an incantation

To summon the spectre of a Rose.

We cannot revive old factions

We cannot restore old policies

Or follow an antique drum.

These men, and those who opposed them

And those whom they opposed

Accept the constitution of silence

And are folded in a single party.

Whatever we inherit from the fortunate

We have taken from the defeated

What they had to leave us—a symbol:

A symbol perfected in death.

And all shall be well and

All manner of thing shall be well

By the purification of the motive

In the ground of our beseeching.

IV

The dove descending breaks the air

With flame of incandescent terror

Of which the tongues declare

The one discharge from sin and error.

The only hope, or else despair

     Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre—

     To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.

Love is the unfamiliar Name

Behind the hands that wove

The intolerable shirt of flame

Which human power cannot remove.

     We only live, only suspire

     Consumed by either fire or fire.

V

What we call the beginning is often the end

And to make an end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from. And every phrase

And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,

Taking its place to support the others,

The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,

An easy commerce of the old and the new,

The common word exact without vulgarity,

The formal word precise but not pedantic,

The complete consort dancing together)

Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,

Every poem an epitaph. And any action

Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat

Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.

We die with the dying:

See, they depart, and we go with them.

We are born with the dead:

See, they return, and bring us with them.

The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree

Are of equal duration. A people without history

Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern

Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails

On a winter’s afternoon, in a secluded chapel

History is now and England.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this

     Calling

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

Through the unknown, remembered gate

When the last of earth left to discover

Is that which was the beginning;

At the source of the longest river

The voice of the hidden waterfall

And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for

But heard, half-heard, in the stillness

Between two waves of the sea.

Quick now, here, now, always—

A condition of complete simplicity

(Costing not less than everything)

And all shall be well and

All manner of thing shall be well

When the tongues of flame are in-folded

Into the crowned knot of fire

And the fire and the rose are one.

The Skylark

John Clare

Click below for a reading ..

the skylark – john clare

The rolls and harrows lie at rest beside 
The battered road; and spreading far and wide
Above the russet clods, the corn is seen
Sprouting its spiry points of tender green,
Where squats the hare, to terrors wide awake,
Like some brown clod the harrows failed to break.
Opening their golden caskets to the sun,
The buttercups make schoolboys eager run,
To see who shall be first to pluck the prize –
Up from their hurry, see, the skylark flies,
And o’er her half-formed nest, with happy wings
Winnows the air, till in the cloud she sings,
Then hangs a dust-spot in the sunny skies,
And drops, and drops, till in her nest she lies,
Which they unheeded passed – not dreaming then
That birds which flew so high would drop agen
To nests upon the ground, which anything
May come at to destroy. Had they the wing
Like such a bird, themselves would be too proud,
And build on nothing but a passing cloud!
As free from danger as the heavens are free
From pain and toil, there would they build and be,
And sail about the world to scenes unheard
Of and unseen – Oh, were they but a bird!
So think they, while they listen to its song,
And smile and fancy and so pass along;
While its low nest, moist with the dews of morn,
Lies safely, with the leveret, in the corn

Fern Hill

Dylan Thomas

.. click link below to hear reading

fern hill

The poem starts as a straightforward evocation of his childhood visits to his Aunt Annie’s farm:

In the middle section, the idyllic scene is expanded upon, reinforced by the lilting rhythm of the poem, the dreamlike, pastoralmetaphors and allusion to Eden. 

By the end, the poet’s older voice has taken over, mourning his lost youth with echoes of the opening:

The poem uses internal half rhyme and full rhyme as well as end rhyme. Thomas was very conscious of the effect of spoken or intoned verse and explored the potentialities of sound and rhythm, in a manner reminiscent of Gerard Manley Hopkins. He always denied having conscious knowledge of Welsh, but “his lines chime with internal consonantal correspondence..”