Friday, October 07, 2005

National Poetry Day

took place yesterday...but I only discovered this via Radio 4 late last night, at which point creativity was at a low ebb. Since then, I've been struggling to choose one poem in honour of the day, and realised that there are poems that are part of my biography just as particular music conjures a year, an occasion, a particular person...Musically, this was the summer of "One of Us" for me (better late than never, I suppose) , and, because Darling Daughter has finally been overwhelmed by the wonder of T.S.Eliot, the summer to revisit Four Quartets, The Wasteland, and the first Eliot I loved, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock. But all of those are way too long to blog, so I'll go instead for William Blake, and a poem I can't remember ever not knowing and loving. Oddly enough, having absorbed it as part of my d.n.a. before I even knew I was learning another's words by heart, it was also the poem I had to discuss at my Cambridge interview....8 lines filled half an hour very happily for me, and, if the end result is anything to go by, for the interviewer as well.

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done;

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!

4 comments:

SpookyRach said...

Beautiful poem!

I love how you say certain poems are part of your biography. Very cool!

LutheranChik said...

One of my favorite gifts, as a precocious and frequently sick little child, was a copy of A Child's Garden of Verses...and my mother's and aunt's old high school literature books. I remember trying to read the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales; being totally intrigued by the rhythm of the words, even though I didn't know what they meant.

LutheranChik said...
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Kathryn said...

Lutheranchik...the first poem I remember having to learn at school was "Where go the boats" from the Child's Garden. I loved that book too...