A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Thursday, 8 January 2009

3 Poems

I've been dipping again into The Golden Treasury Of Poetry. 3 poems leaped out at me. The 1st is by Robert Frost and is called The Runaway. It's a good choice for this time of year:

The Runaway

Once when the snow of the year was beginning to fall,
We stopped by a mountain pasture to say, 'Whose colt?'
A little Morgan had one forefoot on the wall,
The other curled at his breast. He dipped his head
And snorted at us. And then he had to bolt.
We heard the miniature thunder where he fled,
And we saw him, or thought we saw him, dim and grey
Like a shadow against the curtain of falling flakes.
'I think the little fellow's afraid of the snow.
He isn't winter-broken. It isn't play
With the little fellow at all. He's running away.
I doubt if even his mother could tell him, 'Sakes,
It's only weather.' He'd think she didn't know!
Where is his mother? He can't be out alone.'
And now he comes again with a clatter of stone,
And mounts the wall again with whited eyes
And all his tail that isn't hair up straight.
He shudders his coat as if to throw off flies.
'Whever it is that leaves him out so late,
When other creatures have gone to stall and bin,
Ought to be told to come and take him in.'

What a word picture Frost paints here! You can just feel the cold, hear the hooves, see the falling snowflakes and the whites of the colt's eyes.

Apart from Shakespeare's, the sonnets of Keats are some of the most perfect sonnets ever written. This sonnet, On The Grasshopper And The Cricket - among other poems by Keats - also appears in The Golden Treasury:

On The Grasshopper And The Cricket

The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead.
That is the grasshopper's - he takes the lead
In summer luxury, - he has never done
With his delights; for, when tired out with fun,
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.

The poetry of earth is ceasing never.
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems, to one in drowsiness half lost,
The grasshopper's among some grassy hills.

Yes, how we yearn for summer during these last endless wintry months!

Finally, there's this short, succinct poem by the wonderful Emily Dickinson:

I'm Nobody! Who Are You?

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us - don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Frog-celebrities of Celebrity Big Brother, please take note...


Rachel Fox said...

I love that Emily Dickinson one! I haven't read it before. Bizarrely I have a very similar one called 'Sweet Nothings'. It's only 4 lines and it's on the website somewhere. If you had an email address on here I would mail you it but I can't see one. Lucky.

The Solitary Walker said...

I love it too. Re email: don't like putting email addresses on my blog - nothing personal - just had some bad experiences & want to avoid spam etc. Why don't you send the poem anyway,if it's only 4 lines, as a comment? Look forward to reading it!

Rachel Fox said...

I couldn't possibly...oh alright then...

Sweet Nothings

You are nothing
I am less
Let's admit it
We're a mess


I have a few along these lines. I think of them as alternative greetings card poems. I have a wedding, a funeral, a couple of Valentines...

Bad experiences with email? I had a weird time with a Friends Reunited creep but other than that I've never had any bother.


Raph G. Neckmann said...

A Treasury indeed! I love them, best of all On The Grasshopper And The Cricket.

Reading blogs has made me enjoy this winter more than any before - so many new ways of looking at aspects of it!

am said...

These posts about poems read in childhood are wonderful. Now I'm remembering having poetry read to me as a child and how closely I looked at the illustrations in those books.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love the Robert Frost one - he was really a true countryman. Also the Emily Dickinson - much more light-hearted than a lot of her poems.

Anonymous said...

Agree with previous comment- reading these poems brings back memories of the love of poems read as a child. Always so rich in the love of nature, its colours and textures.

Bdogs said...

It's funny, I hadn't read a Frost poem for years. I quite like it, now I have some acquaintance with country things. And I love the ED. And actually I love Rachel Fox's short one, too!

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks everyone for these comments!

Sweet Nothings - sharp & witty, Rachel! A Good Thing in a Samll Package.