Friday, February 10, 2012
Each Friday we provide the link to the blog that is hosting a celebration of poetry around the blogosphere. At that site you can find the links to the many other blogs that are posting poems (new and old), discussions of poems, and reviews of poetry books.
Enjoy the festivities!
The host this week is Laura Purdie Salas. You can find her here at Writing the World for Kids.
(Rupert Brooke, 1887-1915, English poet)
Rupert Brooke was one of the cohort of young English poets who perished in the Great War.
His most beloved poem, however, is not one of his war poems but a lyrical meditation he wrote in 1912 as he toured Europe in those innocent, sun-filled days before the onset of hostilities. In that poem, excerpted below, he asks a series of questions to express his homesickness for the idyll near Cambridge where he and his friends would gather for afternoon tea.
from THE OLD VICARAGE, GRANTCHESTER
(Café des Westens, Berlin, May 1912)
Say, do the elm-clumps greatly stand
Still guardians of that holy land?
The chestnuts shades, in reverend dream,
The yet unacademic stream?
Is dawn a secret shy and cold
And sunset still a golden sea
From Haslingfield to Madingley?
And after, ere the night is born,
Do hares come out about the corn?
Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? And Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh! Yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?
¹ Anadyomene – an allusion to the beautiful goddess of love, the Roman Venus or the Greek Aphrodite, who is raised from the sea on a shell