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Claire

Poetic Wanderings

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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'
 

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       The winter comes; I walk alone,

              I want no bird to sing;

       To those who keep their hearts their own

              The winter is the spring.

       No flowers to please--no bees to hum--

              The coming spring's already come.

 

       I never want the Christmas rose

              To come before its time;

       The seasons, each as God bestows,

              Are simple and sublime.

       I love to see the snowstorm hing;

              'Tis but the winter garb of spring.

 

       I never want the grass to bloom:

              The snowstorm's best in white.

       I love to see the tempest come

              And love its piercing light.

       The dazzled eyes that love to cling

              O'er snow-white meadows sees the spring.

 

       I love the snow, the crumpling snow

              That hangs on everything,

       It covers everything below

              Like white dove's brooding wing,

       A landscape to the aching sight,

              A vast expanse of dazzling light.

 

       It is the foliage of the woods

              That winters bring--the dress,

       White Easter of the year in bud,

              That makes the winter Spring.

       The frost and snow his posies bring,

              Nature's white spurts of the spring.

 

The Winter's Spring, John Clare

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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'

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Ah, one of my favourites!

Always reminds me of the huge flowering cherry in the garden of our last house, it brought me such joy every April.

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Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other Spheares, by being growne
Subject to forraigne motion, lose their owne,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:
Pleasure or businesse, so, our Soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
Hence is’t, that I am carryed towards the West
This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East.
There I should see a Sunne, by rising set,
And by that setting endlesse day beget;
But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall,
Sinne had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I’almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for mee.
Who sees Gods face, that is selfe life, must dye;
What a death were it then to see God dye?
It made his owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke,
It made his footstoole crack, and the Sunne winke.
Could I behold those hands which span the Poles,
And tune all spheares at once peirc’d with those holes?
Could I behold that endlesse height which is
Zenith to us, and our Antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood which is
The seat of all our Soules, if not of his,
Made durt of dust, or that flesh which was worne
By God, for his apparell, rag’d, and torne?
If on these things I durst not looke, durst I
Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,
Who was Gods partner here, and furnish’d thus
Halfe of that Sacrifice, which ransom’d us?
Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,
They’are present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and thou look’st towards mee,
O Saviour, as thou hang’st upon the tree;
I turne my backe to thee, but to receive
Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.
O thinke mee worth thine anger, punish mee,
Burne off my rusts, and my deformity,
Restore thine Image, so much, by thy grace,
That thou may’st know mee, and I’ll turne my face.

Good Friday 1613. Riding Westward, John Donne

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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'.

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