(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.
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