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About Heather

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  1. The huge pale sun behind the Braid Hills rising glints on the city in wands of slanting light The threadbare half-moon hangs above Corstorphine where winter branches stretch and silhouette With sunrise in her hair the girl Queen Mary rode to dying Darnley out at Kirk o' Field On such a frosty forenoon Cockburn left the lawcourts experienced the New Town, memorised the Old Singing a cold cadence Fergusson the poet shivered down the Canongate with rhythm in his feet And citizens of Edinburgh on this very morning set to partners, join hands and skip down the street Anonymous - Winter sunrise in Edinburgh Note: Cockburn is pronounced to rhyme with go-burn
  2. And I couldn’t escape the waking dream of infected fleas in the warp and weft of soggy cloth by the tailor’s hearth in ye olde Eyam. Then couldn’t un-see the Boundary Stone, that cock-eyed dice with its six dark holes, thimbles brimming with vinegar wine purging the plagued coins. Which brought to mind the sorry story of Emmott Syddall and Rowland Torre, star-crossed lovers on either side of the quarantine line whose wordless courtship spanned the river till she came no longer. But slept again, and dreamt this time of the exiled yaksha sending word to his lost wife on a passing cloud, a cloud that followed an earthly map of camel trails and cattle tracks, streams like necklaces, fan-tailed peacocks, painted elephants, embroidered bedspreads of meadows and hedges, bamboo forests and snow-hatted peaks, waterfalls, creeks, the hieroglyphs of wide-winged cranes and the glistening lotus flower after rain, the air hypnotically see-through, rare, the journey a ponderous one at times, long and slow but necessarily so. Simon Armitage - 'Lockdown' There is an explanation of this poem on the Guardian website. Eyam is probounced 'Eem'.
  3. Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough, And stands about the woodland ride Wearing white for Eastertide. Now, of my threescore years and ten, Twenty will not come again, And take from seventy springs a score, It only leaves me fifty more. And since to look at things in bloom Fifty springs are little room, About the woodlands I will go To see the cherry hung with snow. A.E. Housman - 'Loveliest of Trees'
  4. The advantage of watching the TV series is that you see the Swedish scenery. This is true in the Branagh series as well as the Swedish one. However, the Branagh series was infuriating in the way both Kurt's father and his daughter picked on him. Kurt's father is horrible to him, then complains he doesn't visit. 'The Man Who Smiled' starts with Kurt having a breakdown after killing a man, and going off to sped time alone. When he returns, Linda's reaction is to attack him: "What kind of man does that?" He should have stayed with his family and let them cheer him up. Never mind what he needed, he should have done that so that she would feel better. There is no scene like that in the book.
  5. Thanks: I was planning to ask that very thing. The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;— Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn. William Wordsworth - 'The world is too much with us'
  6. "O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown! Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town? And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?" — "O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she. — "You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks, Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks; And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!" — "Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined," said she. — "At home in the barton you said thee' and thou,' And thik oon,' and theäs oon,' and t'other'; but now Your talking quite fits 'ee for high compa-ny!" — "Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she. — "Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek, And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!" — "We never do work when we're ruined," said she. — "You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream, And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!" — "True. One's pretty lively when ruined," said she. — "I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown, And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!" — "My dear — a raw country girl, such as you be, Cannot quite expect that. You ain't ruined," said she. Thomas Hardy - 'The Ruined Maid'
  7. The snow is gone from cottage tops The thatch moss glows in brighter green And eves in quick succession drops Where grinning ides once hath been Pit patting wi’ a pleasant noise In tubs set by the cottage door And ducks and geese wi’ happy joys Douse in the yard pond brimming o’er The sun peeps thro the window pane Which childern mark wi’ laughing eye And in the wet street steal again To tell each other spring is nigh And as young hope the past recalls In playing groups will often draw Building beside the sunny walls Their spring play-huts of sticks or straw And oft in pleasures dreams they hie Round homesteads by the village side Scratting the hedgerow mosses bye Where painted pooty shells abide Mistaking oft the ivy spray For leaves that come wi’ budding spring And wondering in their search for play Why birds delay to build and sing The milkmaid singing leaves her bed As glad as happy thoughts can be While magpies chatter o’er her head As jocund in the change as she Her cows around the closes stray Nor lingering wait the foddering boy Tossing the molehills in their play And staring round in frolic joy Ploughmen go whistling to their toils And yoke again the rested plough And mingling o’er the mellow soils Boys’ shouts and whips are noising now The shepherd now is often seen By warm banks o’er his work to bend Or o’er a gate or stile to lean Chattering to a passing friend Odd hive bees fancying winter o’er And dreaming in their combs of spring Creeps on the slab beside their door And strokes its legs upon its wing While wild ones half asleep are humming Round snowdrop bells a feeble note And pigions coo of summer coming Picking their feathers on the cote Thus nature of the spring will dream While south winds thaw but soon again Frost breaths upon the stiffening stream And numbs it into ice—the plain Soon wears its merry garb of white And icicles that fret at noon Will eke their icy tails at night Beneath the chilly stars and moon Nature soon sickens of her joys And all is sad and dumb again Save merry shouts of sliding boys About the frozen furrowd plain The foddering boy forgets his song And silent goes wi’ folded arms And croodling shepherds bend along Crouching to the whizzing storms. John Clare - 'February'
  8. Shine out, fair Sun, with all your heat, Show all your thousand-coloured light! Black Winter freezes to his seat; The grey wolf howls, he does so bite; Crookt Age on three knees creeps the street; The boneless fish close quaking lies And eats for cold his aching feet; The stars in icicles arise: Shine out, and make this winter night Our beauty's Spring, our Prince of Light! George Chapman - 'Shine out, fair Sun, with all your heat'
  9. 'Tis mute, the word they went to hear on high Dodona mountain When winds were in the oakenshaws and all the cauldrons tolled, And mute's the midland navel-stone beside the singing fountain, And echoes list to silence now where gods told lies of old. I took my question to the shrine that has not ceased from speaking, The heart within, that tells the truth and tells it twice as plain; And from the cave of oracles I heard the priestess shrieking That she and I should surely die and never live again. Oh priestess, what you cry is clear, and sound good sense I think it; But let the screaming echoes rest, and froth your mouth no more. 'Tis true there's better boose than brine, but he that drowns must drink it; And oh, my lass, the news is news that men have heard before. The King with half the East at heel is marched from lands of morning; Their fighters drink the rivers up, their shafts benight the air. And he that stands will die for nought, and home there's no returning. The Spartans on the sea-wet rock sat down and combed their hair. A.E. Housman - 'The Oracles'
  10. At some lone homestead in the Cumner hills, Where at her open door the housewife darns, Thou hast been seen, or hanging on a gate To watch the threshers in the mossy barns. Children, who early range these slopes and late For cresses from the rills, Have known thee eyeing, all an April-day, The springing pasture and the feeding kine; And mark'd thee, when the stars come out and shine, Through the long dewy grass move slow away. In autumn, on the skirts of Bagley Wood— Where most the gipsies by the turf-edged way Pitch their smoked tents, and every bush you see With scarlet patches tagg'd and shreds of grey, Above the forest-ground called Thessaly— The blackbird, picking food, Sees thee, nor stops his meal, nor fears at all; So often has he known thee past him stray, Rapt, twirling in thy hand a wither'd spray, And waiting for the spark from heaven to fall. And once, in winter, on the causeway chill Where home through flooded fields foot-travellers go, Have I not pass'd thee on the wooden bridge, Wrapt in thy cloak and battling with the snow, Thy face tow'rd Hinksey and its wintry ridge? And thou has climb'd the hill, And gain'd the white brow of the Cumner range; Turn'd once to watch, while thick the snowflakes fall, The line of festal light in Christ-Church hall— Then sought thy straw in some sequester'd grange. But what—I dream! Two hundred years are flown Since first thy story ran through Oxford halls, And the grave Glanvil did the tale inscribe That thou wert wander'd from the studious walls To learn strange arts, and join a gipsy-tribe; And thou from earth art gone Long since, and in some quiet churchyard laid— Some country-nook, where o'er thy unknown grave Tall grasses and white flowering nettles wave, Under a dark, red-fruited yew-tree's shade. Matthew Arnold - from 'The Scholar-Gypsy'
  11. I love that one! We have done with dogma and divinity, Easter and Whitsun past, The long, long Sundays after Trinity, Are with us at last; The passionless Sundays after Trinity, Neither feast-day nor fast. Christmas comes with plenty, Lent spreads out its pall, But these are five and twenty, The longest Sundays of all; The placid Sundays after Trinity, Wheat-harvest, fruit-harvest, Fall. Spring with its burst is over, Summer has had its day, The scented grasses and clover Are cut, and dried into hay; The singing-birds are silent, And the swallows flown away. Post pugnam pausa fiet; Lord, we have made our choice; In the stillness of autumn quiet, We have heard the still, small voice. We have sung Oh where shall Wisdom? Thick paper, folio, Boyce. Let it not all be sadness, Not omnia vanitas, Stir up a little gladness To lighten the Tibi cras; Send us that little summer, That comes with Martinmas. When still the cloudlet dapples The windless cobalt blue, And the scent of gathered apples Fills all the store-rooms through, The gossamer silvers the bramble, The lawns are gemmed with dew. An end of tombstone Latinity, Stir up sober mirth, Twenty-fifth after Trinity, Kneel with the listening earth, Behind the Advent trumpets They are singing Emmanuel's birth. John Meade Falkner - 'After Trinity' Completely the wrong season, but that's not an easy poem to link to.
  12. You might get more of a response if you start a thread about poetry you actually like. Or what about joining us on 'Poetic Wanderings'? The idea is that you quote a poem which contains one of the same words as the previous one.
  13. The jester walked in the garden: The garden had fallen still; He bade his soul rise upward And stand on her window-sill. It rose in a straight blue garment, When owls began to call: It had grown wise-tongued by thinking Of a quiet and light footfall; But the young queen would not listen; She rose in her pale night-gown; She drew in the heavy casement And pushed the latches down. He bade his heart go to her, When the owls called out no more; In a red and quivering garment It sang to her through the door. It had grown sweet-tongued by dreaming Of a flutter of flower-like hair; But she took up her fan from the table And waved it off on the air. 'I have cap and bells,’ he pondered, 'I will send them to her and die’; And when the morning whitened He left them where she went by. She laid them upon her bosom, Under a cloud of her hair, And her red lips sang them a love-song Till stars grew out of the air. She opened her door and her window, And the heart and the soul came through, To her right hand came the red one, To her left hand came the blue. They set up a noise like crickets, A chattering wise and sweet, And her hair was a folded flower And the quiet of love in her feet. W.B. Yeats - 'The Cap and Bells'
  14. Thanks for the warning. If I ever encounter this book I'll know to give it a miss.
  15. When I was one-and-twenty I heard a wise man say, “Give crowns and pounds and guineas But not your heart away; Give pearls away and rubies But keep your fancy free.” But I was one-and-twenty, No use to talk to me. When I was one-and-twenty I heard him say again, “The heart out of the bosom Was never given in vain; ’Tis paid with sighs a plenty And sold for endless rue.” And I am two-and-twenty, And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true. A.E. Housman - 'When I was one-and-twenty'
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