Tuesday 16 March 2010

O Western Wind

 From my early memories of school, as soon as I learned to read, I was fascinated by the pictures words could paint, so much more vivid than photographs or paintings, I eschewed the illustrated books aimed at children, I  would lose myself in words, and, lucky me, I had parents who never begrudged me books, and a series of teachers who would guide me in my reading, and especially, one head-teacher, who would read me poetry, and lend me her own books.
 I grew to love poetry, and it's never left me. I'm not a great analyst, I don't seek to know the technicalities, I have no respect for the literary rules, I just read, savour, and am transported.
I've stood on Wenlock edge, with the Roman, in the biting, sleet-filled rain.

O western wind, when wilt thou blow
That the small rain down can rain?
Christ, that my love were in my arms
And I in my bed again! 

Anonymous, 16th Century
 A proof, that poetry need not be long and complex....

Here's another well-loved poem, I've posted it before, but no apologies,

"On Wenlock Edge"
A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble
His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;
The gale, it plies the saplings double,
And thick on Severn snow the leaves.

'Twould blow like this through holt and hanger
When Uricon the city stood:
'Tis the old wind in the old anger,
But then it threshed another wood.

Then, 'twas before my time, the Roman
At yonder heaving hill would stare:
The blood that warms an English yeoman,
The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.

There, like the wind through woods in riot,
Through him the gale of life blew high;
The tree of man was never quiet:
Then 'twas the Roman, now 'tis I.

The gale, it plies the saplings double,
It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone:
To-day the Roman and his trouble
Are ashes under Uricon.