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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Coming, Going


(great picture, Heidi)

It's a thunderstorming, melancholy first day of spring. I remember when I was young being heartily disappointed that there was frost on the first day of spring. There was a nifty thunderstorm this evening, with bolts of lightning that appeared to divide this little town in two.

I've already worked out, & I'm going to put off cleaning until tomorrow, so I figured I'd delve into a little Larkin. Philip Larkin is not a poet you want to read if you want to be uplifted, but if he throws in the smallest bit of happiness it speaks volumes.

I heard a rumor this weekend that Grams found some poetry of Gramps lying around. I sure hope it's true, I had no idea. Anyway, 'til then...

Coming

On longer evenings,
Light, chill & yellow,
Bathes the serene
Foreheads of houses.
A thrush sings,
Laurel-surrounded
In the deep bare garden,
Its fresh-peeled voice
Astonishing the brickwork.
It will be spring soon,
It will be spring soon -
And I, whose childhood
Is a forgotten boredom,
Feel like a child
Who comes on a scene
Of adult reconciling,
And can understand nothing
But the unusual laughter,
And starts to be happy.

Philip Larkin, the Less Deceived, 1955

Going

There is an evening coming in
Across the fields, one never seen before,
That lights no lamps.

Silken it seems at a distance, yet
When it is drawn up over the knees and breast
It brings no comfort.

Where has the tree gone, that locked
Earth to the sky? What is under my hands,
That I cannot feel?

What loads my hands down?

The Less Deceived, 1955

Spring

Green shadowed people sit, or walk in rings,
Their children finger the awakened grass,
Calmly a cloud stands, calmly a bird sings,
And, flashing like a dangled looking-glass,
Sun lights the balls that bounce, the dogs that bark,
The branch-arrested mist of leaf, and me,
Threading my pursed-up way across the park,
An indigestible sterility.

Spring, of all seasons most gratuitous,
Is fold of untaught flower, is race of water,
Is earth's most multiple, excited daughter;

And those she has least use for see her best,
Their paths grown craven and circuitous,
Their visions mountain-clear, their needs immodest.

The Less Deceived

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

The Sky is Crying-Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Sky is Crying

Lillian, Egypt-Josh Ritter, The Animal Years

I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine-Vic Chesnutt, Drunk

Folded Hands-Kevin Davis & Jason Lamb, Jazz Box, Volume 1

Trials & Troubles-Old Crow Medicine Show

Happy Wednesday, friends...

andrew

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Here's a Friday comment for a Wednesday post:

It seems the only way poetry works well for me is when I read it aloud. Thanks for posting Larkin.

I read a story today about St. Augustine. It seems he started as a rebellious ne'er do well, but his mother kept praying for him and look what happened.

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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...