Sunday, 20 January 2008

A Hardy poem for you.


Those who know me, will know how interested I am in Thomas Hardy and his work. I was faffing around with poetry yesterday. I would now like to share my favourite Hardy poem with you. I couldn't get a swallows picture, but I do have one of the River Towy and its meanders. This view is looking back towards Carmarthen.

OVERLOOKING THE RIVER STOUR

The swallows flew in the curves of an eight
Above the river-gleam
In the wet June's last beam:
Like little crossbows animate
The swallows flew in the curves of an eight
Above the river-gleam.

Planing up shavings of crystal spray
A moor-hen darted out
From the bank thereabout,
And through the stream-shine ripped his way;
Planing up shavings of crystal spray
A moor-hen darted out.

Closed were the kingcups; and the mead
Dripped in monotonous green,
Through the day's morning sheen
Had shown it golden and honeybee'd;
Closed were the kingcups; and the mead
Dripped in monotonous green.

And never I turned my head, alack,
While these things met my gaze
Through the pane's drop-drenched glaze,
To see the more behind my back . . .
O never I turned, but let, alack,
These less things hold my gaze.

Hardy lived in Sturminster Newton when he and Emma were first married, in a semi-detached villa called "Riverside", which suggests that the poem above was capturing his view from the room he worked in.

When we lived in Dorset, we went to auction there each week, bought our cheese from the market, and our bread flour from Sturminster Mill, which is a wonderful place. I have a x-stitch picture of it which I stitched when we first moved here, and I was still missing Dorset so much. Happy memories.

3 comments:

Mara said...

I love T Hardy too; he is one of my favourite writers. :) Beautiful poem, thanks for sharing it with us.

xx

MammyT said...

Hardy is good! I don't think I had ever read his poetry before. Just novels. Luscious photos!
Nancy

Bovey Belle said...

Hardy was a poet first and foremost in his eyes, he only wrote novels to put butter on his bread! Beside me I have a big thick book of Hardy's poetry (all of it), and I make a point of reading one or two every day. Some are not to my taste. Some show his lack of confidence - how he had to prove to the world how well-read he was, despite his humble origins. Sometimes I want to shake the man, as he never really had a happy marriage with Emma, yet after her death he wrote reams of love poems to/about her!