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

Saturday, 26 November 2011

My Heart Is Like A Singing Bird

Thanks, Rachel, for reminding me about this great song of the head and the heart by Mumford & Sons...

Apart from this song probably being at the back of my mind - I featured it on the blog in February - my poem head or heart may also have been influenced by a beautiful sonnet by Christina Rossetti...

A Birthday

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

Although we tend, poetically and romantically, to associate feelings with the heart, such emotions - like all human sentiments, thoughts, desires and actions - have their seat in the head, or, more specifically, the brain. And, whereas we tend to correlate the left hemisphere of the brain with logic, linear reasoning and numerical calculation, and the right hemisphere with more creative, intuitive and lateral thinking, our feelings and emotions are in fact bilaterally controlled. In other words, perhaps we are naturally predisposed to achieve that difficult balance between head and heart. Having said this, it doesn't seem to prevent most of us falling off the tightrope with unerring frequency.


Friko said...

As you say, balance is all.
Head and heart, of equal importance and neither should be given preference over the other.

In spite of Rosetti's undoubted tendency towards a slight sentimentality, I rather like her. Into which category does poetry fit?

George said...

I agree with everything you say here, especially about the propensity most of us have to fall off the tightrope with regularity.

Anonymous said...

to achieve that difficult balance between head and heart...with the suppleness of a reed

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for sharing that. Can't say I knew it, although I've been reading quite a lot of stuff from that era recently...

Rachel Fox said...

Even though we know, these days, that it's all in different bits of the head... when a loves goes wrong (from what I remember) it sure does feel like it's the heart that is broken... it feels so corporal.

ksam said...

One step at a time, remembering to just breathe! The only way to maintain any sort of balance for any length of time. I wear that word, in silver, around my neck, 24/7!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I would agree Robert - that tightrope is always a tricky one to negotiate.

The Solitary Walker said...

Easy to say and difficult to achieve, Friko! Yes, I think Rossetti is far more than simply a sentimental poet. And poetry itself is both heart and head, is it not? The inspiration and the craft.

George: Hold on tight, for God's sake!

Thanks, Anon, for your comment ... also Dominic, Rachel, Karin and Pat for your visits.

Karin: Breathe, breathe. Just to breathe. Yes, that's a start. That's the basis. That's almost good enough...

Ruth said...

I have an image of several of us hanging on to the tightrope for dear life, and some dangling from others' bars and feet . . .

Nice to be in such a good acrobatic troupe.

The Solitary Walker said...

Gosh, what an image, Ruth! Perhaps we all need each other more than we thought - not just for mutual support, but as a matter of life or death!