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Memory -- Thomas Bailey Aldrich

       
(Poem #236) Memory
 My mind lets go a thousand things,
 Like dates of wars and deaths of kings,
 And yet recalls the very hour--
 'Twas noon by yonder village tower,
 And on the last blue noon in May--
 The wind came briskly up this way,
 Crisping the brook beside the road;
 Then, pausing here, set down its load
 Of pine-scents, and shook listlessly
 Two petals from that wild-rose tree.
-- Thomas Bailey Aldrich
A nice little vignette - not by any means a 'great' poem, but nonetheless
pleasant and evocative. The sense of vividness is sharp - blue skies, brisk
winds, pine scents - as is the contrast between the 'brisk' and the
'listless' moments, and the whole has a nice pastoral, spring feeling that
is particularly attractive this cold October morning :).

m.

Biography:

  Aldrich, Thomas Bailey

   b. Nov. 11, 1836, Portsmouth, N.H., U.S.
   d. March 19, 1907, Boston poet, short-story writer, and editor whose
   use of the surprise ending influenced the development of the short
   story. He drew upon his childhood experiences in New Hampshire in his
   popular classic The Story of a Bad Boy (1870).

   Aldrich left school at 13 to work as a merchant's clerk in New York
   City and soon began to contribute to various newspapers and magazines.
   After publication of his first book of verse, The Bells (1855), he
   became junior literary critic on the New York Evening Mirror and later
   subeditor of the Home Journal. From 1881 to 1890 he was editor of The
   Atlantic Monthly.

   His poems, which reflect the cultural atmosphere of New England and
   his frequent European tours, were published in such volumes as Cloth
   of Gold (1874), Flower and Thorn (1877), Mercedes and Later Lyrics
   (1884), and Windham Towers (1890).

   His best known prose is Marjorie Daw and Other People (1873), a
   collection of short stories.

                -- EB

41 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

PGDIDI said...

I have a copy of "Memory" on letterhead stationary of the Editorial Office of
The Atlantic Monthly, Boston, handwritten and signed by Thomas Bailey
Aldrich. It came by way of a gift to a family friend and has since passed on
to me. The first time I read it I was sure he had walked amongst the pines
of my California coastal home. The clock tower in town could have tolled the
noon hour as he walked along the brook that slips down to the bay. The pines
and wild tea roses grew along the sheltered pathway of that brooks edge. The
pines still do, the tea roses are no more. Thomas Aldrich will keep them
there forever.

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الفيسبوك said...

Thomas Bailey Aldrich is a genius i like this one

dancingfatima said...

I read that poem so many years ago, and even though at 74 my mind DOES let go, I still remember the first two lines...so beautiful Thank you.

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