My chosen poem this week is by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) who won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.
The Wild Swans at Coole
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.
The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
W. B. Yeats
I hope everyone has had a good week so far and I hope that everyone has some good weekend plans ahead.
My chosen poem this week is by David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930) who was an English writer and poet.
The plane leaves
fall black and wet
on the lawn;
the cloud sheaves
in heaven's fields set
droop and are drawn
in falling seeds of rain;
the seed of heaven
on my face
falling - I hear again
like echoes even
that softly pace
heaven's muffled floor,
the winds that tread
out all the grain
of tears, the store
in the sheaves of pain
caught up aloft:
the sheaves of dead
men that are slain
now winnowed soft
on the floor of heaven;
of all the pain
here to us given;
falling as rain.
D. H. Lawrence
I have gone for a poem by Melinno this week. Melinno is known only by her one extant poem, a Greek hymn to the goddess Roma. The date of Melinno is highly disputed, with suggestions varying by over four hundred years. Some argue she is from as early as the second century BC, others think as late as the second century AD.
The poem is in the style of Sappho, and might have been composed for a ritual.
Melinno's Hymn to Roma
Hail to Roma, the war-god's daughter
warrior queen in a golden girdle,
your Heaven here on earth, eternal
On you alone, our ancient of days.
Fate has bestowed this royal glory
of unbroken rule, sovereign strength
to lead where all follow.
For under your yoke, by your strong reins,
the great back of earth and foam-white seas
are bent; without a falter you steer
the cities of all men.
But time's great span can topple us all;
life sways us one way, then another
you alone sail on fair winds of rule
and never alter course.
For you alone have borne strong warriors,
great spearman, springing up unbidden
like Demeter's fruitful ears of corn,
a crop of mortal men.
I hope everyone has a good weekend planned. I have another busy weekend of work but I also have a family get together as well which will be nice.
I have been studying a lot of female poets from Ancient Greece for my dissertation so I have chosen one of the poems by Corinna. It sadly is not complete and the parts in brackets have been put in by the translator. Sadly, it is only fragments that survive from the female poets of Ancient Greece.
Songs of Old
On me my Muse has served her summons
to sing those beautiful songs of old
for Tanagran women in their dawn-
white dresses; as the city takes such
pleasure in my teasing-trilling songs.
for whatever great [deeds great heroes
might perform,] still taller tales [are told,]
the earth their open field for battle.
And so I've reset our fathers' tales,
[reworked their crown with these new jewels]
as I take up my lyre for my girls;
Often I've polished tales of Cephisus,
our country's own first founding-father,
often of Lord Orion, the fifty
high-and-mighty sons he brought into
being - with help from their mother nymphs;
and then at last I sang of Libya,
[Thebes' fair fore-mother...]
I hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend. I have a busy weekend of organ playing so not much reading will be happening for me.
My chosen poem today is actually an extract from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. I think it is good for symbolising the end of summer.
Fear No More the Heat o' the Sun
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages.
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.
Fear no more the frown o' the great;
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat,
To thee the reed is as the oak.
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.
Fear no more the lighting-flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan.
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.
No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have,
And renowned be thy grave!
I have spent most of today on my dissertation and managed to write 685 words and do some editing and reading through to make what I already had better reading. I will keep working on it over the weekend with the hope I can get a good chunk written before it is back to teaching on Monday.
I hope everyone has some good plans for the weekend ahead!
My chosen poem today is by Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861) who was an English poet, educationalist, and secretarial assistant to Florence Nightingale, his wife’s cousin. He was also the brother of the suffragist Anne Clough.
The message of this poem is: don’t give up, keep fighting – better things are on the way.
Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth
Say not the struggle nought availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making
Comes silent, flooding in, the main,
And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.
Arthur Hugh Clough
I hope everyone has exciting plans for the weekend. I have a family get together on Saturday and an actual day off on Sunday.
My chosen poem this week is by the English poet Wendy Cope (1945).
Shakespeare at School
Forty boys on benches with their quills,
Six days a week through almost all the year,
Long hours of Latin with relentless drills
And repetition, all enforced by fear.
I picture Shakespeare sitting near the back,
Indulging in a risky bit of fun
By exercising his prodigious knack
Of thinking up an idiotic pun,
And whispering his gem to other boys,
Some of whom could not suppress their mirth -
Behaviour that unfailingly annoys
Any teacher anywhere on earth
The fun was over when the master spoke:
Will Shakespeare, come up here and share the joke.Wendy Cope
We are nearly at the weekend YAY! I hope everyone has had a good week so far.
My chosen poem this week is by Tennyson. I have chosen this poem because I really like its playful nature.
Minnie and Winnie
Minnie and Winnie
Slept in a shell.
Sleep, little ladies!
And they slept well.
Pink was the shell within,
Sounds of the great sea
Sleep, little ladies!
Wake not soon!
Echo on echo
Dies to the moon.
Two bright stars
Peep'd into the shell.
'What are you dreaming of?
Who can tell?'
Started a green linnet
Out of the croft;
Wake, little ladies,
The sun is aloft!
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I hope everyone has some exciting plans for the weekend. I have a busy weekend playing the organ for a wedding and a church service.
My chosen poem this week is by Hilda Doolittle who published under the name H.D. Doolittle was an American modernist poet.
O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.
Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air -
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and round the grapes.
Cut the heat -
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.
Happy Friday! I hope everyone has some fantastic plans for the weekend. I have spent most of today dissertation writing and will be doing the same over the weekend as well as prepping a church service for Sunday and practising music for two church services so I doubt I will get much fun reading in but I will try.
My chosen poem today is by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) who was an English novelist and poet. I must admit he is one of my favourite authors and I must get around to reading more of his work as I haven’t for a while.
This is the weather the cuckoo likes,
And so do I;
When showers be tumble the chestnut spikes,
And nestlings fly:
And the little brown nightingale bills his best,
And they sit outside at 'The Travellers' Rest',
And maids come forth sprig-muslim drest,
And citizens dream of the south and west,
And so do I.
This is the weather the shepherd shuns,
And so do I;
When beeches drip in browns and duns,
And thresh, and ply;
And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throw,
And meadow rivulets overflow,
And drops on gate-bars hang in a row,
And rooks in families homeward go,
And so do I.