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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Spring!

From Songs for Little People by Helen Stratton, with illustrations by H. Stratton, published by Constable in London, 1896.  Source:  The British Library. 

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  The Spring Equinox is almost upon us.  I sense we are all hungry for Spring.  (Of course, in our region of the country, Spring storms are nothing to sneeze at.  My family members spread around a few states were fortunate in the recent line of severe weather that stretched through all of them.) 

 

Now the pollen - that IS something to sneeze at. If the layers of gold covering everything are any indication, Mother Nature is on schedule for all this annual renewal. 

 

I stumbled on the delightful poem and illustration above, while searching for an image to go with the poem below. So today's post nods to Britain's song thrush twice. (A frequent subject in British poetry.  Here's a bit more about this musical birdie at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.) In my own yard, it's the cardinals, Carolina wrens, bluebirds, Carolina chickadees,  some sparrows and warblers, mockingbirds and brown thrashers making a ruckus.  How about yours?

 

Here's a sonnet by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) for today:

 

 

Spring


Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
  When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
  Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
  The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
  The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling. 

 

What is all this juice and all this joy?
  A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
  Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
  Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

 

More about GMH and his poetry here  and here

 

 

Earlier this week, I came across a couple of quotes by Joan Walsh Anglund, and I was wondering how old she was and what she'd been up to.  Her illustrations always brought me joy and comfort growing up, and beyond.  While writing this post (Thursday), I meandered into the news that she passed away today.  (Click here to read her obituary in Publishers Weekly.) Here's to all the Spring she brought into lives all over the world. And here's one of her quotes perfect for the season:

 

A bird does not sing because he has an answer.
He sings because he has a song.

    --Joan Walsh Anglund

 

Wishing you and yours a safe and lovely Spring....

 

*Birthday shout-out to our Spring baby, Seth, who turns 26 next week!* 

 

Our outdoorsy Linda Baie has the Roundup over at Teacher Dance, with thoughts of Spring and a wonderful original poem about TIME.  Thanks, Linda, and enjoy, all!

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Poetry Friday - Scotland & Timely Verse by Gerard Manley Hopkins

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  We've been blessed with company since returning from our trip to Scotland and Ireland, and I've just taken up a wee space at a gift shop downtown for some of my artsyetters offerings, so I am still playing catch-up with everything else!

 

But I wanted to share a few lines from our dear old friend, Gerard Manley Hopkins.  He went to Scotland in 1881, and upon visiting Loch Lomond, wrote "Inversnaid."  Here's a link to the entire poem, and here are the lines pictured above:

 

 What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

 

 

These words and other literary quotes on the outside walls of The Scottish Parliament were just some of the diversions which slowed my progress down The Royal Mile as we walked to Holyrood Palace.

 

We would all go back to Edinburgh in a heartbeat, and I have a feeling we will!  After all, among its many attributes and siren calls, it's The World's First UNESCO City of Literature!  (More on that here.) 

 

The beautiful Hopkins verses seem so poignant and relevant here across the Pond this week, with the potential for heartbreaking environmental losses with attacks on The Endangered Species Act, and, pretty much everything else offering thoughtful stewardship of animals and plants and places we can never replace. Sigh.

 

Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet!

 

For this week's Roundup, Catherine at Reading to the Core is celebrating GREAT MORNING, the brand-newest Pomelo Books poetry book!  (I'm thrilled to have a poem included.)  Catherine shares her own inspired and inspiring poem in the collection, "Walking for a Cause."

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