|[Oct. 11th, 2009|10:59 pm]
The house on the corner has sprouted what must be Christmas lights, unless Halloween lights have suddenly come into fashion and I missed the memo. The lights are orange, and thought some form a coniferous shape, nearby is a ball like a pumpkin. Perhaps Christmas and Halloween are to be merged, perhaps for economy, and December will find witches or ghosts delivering gifts of wax lips and candied apples. I hope not. The world seems strange enough as it is, given my muddled state of semi-illness.
I think maybe I have a low-grade fever tricking my brain into discovering what isn't. What I know is, is that some of the oak leaves have begun turning yellow, and others that have turned brown have strewn my ground. There's no choice but to crush them as I walk, unless I choose to stay put. That won't happen when virus and air conspire to make moving through the day irresistible.
It will never last, but the bright afternoon said nothing of the rain to come, and blue sky capped sweet air. Another October not yet like October. The jays chattered all evening until sunset drove them to sleep. How many times have I heard that before?
Poem in October
by Dylan Thomas
It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heron
The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the webbed wall
Myself to set foot
In the still sleeping town and set forth.
My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
Above the farms and the white horses
And I rose
In a rainy autumn
And walked abroad in shower of all my days
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
Over the border
And the gates
Of the town closed as the town awoke.
A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
Blackbirds and the sun of October
On the hill's shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
To the rain wringing
Wind blow cold
In the wood faraway under me.
Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
With its horns through mist and the castle
Brown as owls
But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
There could I marvel
Away but the weather turned around.
It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
Streamed again a wonder of summer
Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
Through the parables
And the legends of the green chapels
And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
These were the woods the river and the sea
Where a boy
In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
And the mystery
Still in the water and singing birds.
And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
Joy of the long dead child sang burning
In the sun.
It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
O may my heart's truth
Still be sung
On this high hill in a year's turning.
dylan thomas was the poet who woke me up to poetry and what language can do (it was "Fern Hill" that did it), when i was 16 or so. thanks for this!
I didn't read Thomas until college, and then had to do a paper explicating a poem which sort of soured me on him for a few years. I'm glad I recovered eventually.
that happened to me with theodore roethke. in fact, i've posted about this at my journal and may be repeating something you already read about. eng lit 102, prof. alvin rosenfeld (he's google-able), IU, spring 1970: he assigned roethke's "I Knew a Woman," which i completely misread because i was too young and too green to have any idea what it was about. he gave me a D and told me to see him in his office, where he told me i had "raped" the poem by misinterpreting it. you better believe i dropped english as a major on the spot. maybe he did the world of letters a favor, but it ruined my pleasure in poetry for a long, long time. i still will only read it as an amateur (or write it that way).
glad you recovered your pleasure in dylan thomas! i still can't read roethke.