Tag: beauty

carpe while you can

For some reason, the only line I can remember from my first-term-at-Cambridge, deeply-uncomprehending reading of Gawain and the Green Knight is the line ‘Þe snawe snitered ful snart’. The snow snitered a bit this week (though not full snart) out of a beautiful blue sky; very odd and April-ish. We’ve also had some days, though, where ‘that blue has been all in a rush with richness’, so I thought today we could enjoy Hopkins’ lovely hymn to spring (have it read to you here. Poem starts at 1.19):

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darkling

Joy and pain, hope and despair, don’t always seem evenly balanced in Hardy, that’s for sure. Just ask Tess. Or Jude. But for the turn of such a year as this I want to remind myself of the beauty-in-the-midst-of-desolation that we find in Hardy’s ‘The Darkling Thrush’. I’m sure it’s familiar to you, but you can re-read (or read) it here.

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autumn beauty

This was one of the three poems that changed the course of my life. That sounds rather dramatic, but it’s true. We “Did” Yeats for A-level and I was blessed with one of those teachers whose capacity to inspire you feel at the time without really realising what’s going on. Without Stevie I don’t know if I would have “got” literature and followed it as student, teacher, writer, throughout my life. So this is a very important poem for me. Here it is: ‘The Wild Swans at Coole‘ by Yeats.*

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