Wednesday, 23 March 2011

From The Great Lover - Rupert Brooke

These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair's fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year's ferns...
Dear names,
And thousand other throng to me! Royal flames;
Sweet water's dimpling laugh from tap or spring;
Holes in the groud; and voices that do sing;
Voices in laughter, too; and body's pain,
Soon turned to peace; and the deep-panting train;
Firm sands; the little dulling edge of foam
That browns and dwindles as the wave goes home;
And washen stones, gay for an hour; the cold
Graveness of iron; moist black earthen mould;
Sleep; and high places; footprints in the dew;
And oaks; and brown horse-chestnuts, glossy-new;
And new-peeled sticks; and shining pools on grass;
All these have been my loves.

I love this extract, just about sums it all up for me. I came across it in a slim volume of poetry called 'Poems to Live By', by John Florance. Thoroughly recommended by me if you can get hold of a copy; the writing between the poems Florance chooses is inspring in itself. According to the blurb on the back, this book will help you:

- live courageously
- enjoy the present while remembering the past
- come to terms with mortality
- appreciate intimations that life is more than it seems
- gain greater awareness of the rhythm of the seasons
- value simplicity
- learn to enjoy learning and living
- love and be loved

Can't ask for much more from a book really, can you? A good literary discovery for me.


Rowan said...

Haven't come across this poem before, the book sounds as though it's worth looking out for. I, too, was looking for CL Forum yesterday and couldn't get it, was planning to sign up again too. Hope it's a temporary glitch.

Rowan said...

Sorry to be a pest - I still seem to be registered with CL but it says I need to activate my account. Can you help me out with this please?

The Weaver of Grass said...

What a beautiful poem - as I read through it I kept thinking "this is me exactly" - I shall now go to Amazon and see if the book is available.

I understand from Denise Nesbitt that you are up here now. As I walk through our fields and see the sheeps' wool hanging on the hedges I wonder whether it is worth collecting and washing - what do you think? Denise says you do spin - have you started since you came up here?

Perhaps you and I and Denise could meet for lunch one day at The Station (you must have discovered it by now.)

Best wishes.

Dartford Warbler said...

I haven`t read this poem for years. Thank you.