For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Remembrance Of Things Past

What with the little cyber-wave of interest in DH Lawrence breaking through Blogworld at the moment, and what with the recent two-part TV adaptation of The Rainbow and Women In Love (which wasn't quite as bad as I feared), and what with Mothers' Day coming round recently, I've been meaning to post this incredible poem for a few days - but haven't got round to it till now. It featured in last Saturday's Guardian Review, and forms part of a short collection called Ten Poems About Mothers edited by Jenny Swann and published by Candlestick Press.

Piano

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

DH LAWRENCE

3 comments:

Ruth said...

I'm there. Many of my best memories with my mom are at the piano.

Interestingly enough, after your recent post on Lawrence, I happened to be sorting my books and arranging a new study, and lo and behold, I have a book of his selected poems, nabbed from the free table at the university of what professors have cleaned out of their offices. It has "Piano" in it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes, I read this poem too Robert. I must say that the Guardian comes up with some good stuff on Saturdays. I too thought the Lawrence adaptations bearable.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, I remember your moving poem about your mum, Ruth.

Pat - the Saturday Guardian is an absolute must-read for me. It's one of the few things I really miss when abroad. (Are you watching 'The Crimson Petal And The White'? V. good.)