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Song -- Anna Wickham

Guest poem submitted by Mallika Chellappa:
(Poem #406) Song
I will pluck from my tree a cherry-blossom wand,
And carry it in my merciless hand,
So I will drive you, so bewitch your eyes,
With a beautiful thing that can never grow wise.

Light are the petals that fall from the bough,
And lighter the love that I offer you now;
In a spring day shall the tale be told
Of the beautiful things that will never grow old.

The blossoms shall fall in the night wind,
And I will leave you so, to be kind:
Eternal in beauty, are short-lived flowers,
Eternal in beauty, these exquisite hours.

I will pluck from my tree a cherry-blossom wand,
And carry it in my merciless hand,
So I will drive you, so bewitch your eyes,
With a beautiful thing that shall never grow wise.
-- Anna Wickham
This was a poem in my father's "Anthology of Modern Verse" which I was
introduced to before age ten. The poems in that volume are all gems, and this is
no exception.

This poem tells of the tyranny of beauty (at least to me) and since I read it at
the same time as "The Glove and the Lions", and while learning proverbs ('None
but the Brave deserve the Fair'), I have an enduring belief that beauty causes
us to do illogical things.

mallika.

[Links]

Leigh Hunt's "The Glove and the Lions" is archived at poem #275 The
reader comments to that poem include a transcription of the Grateful Dead's
"Terrapin Station", which retells the same story from a slightly different
perspective.

17 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Suresh Ramasubramanian said...

Thus spake Abraham Thomas :

>So I will drive you, so bewitch your eyes,
>With a beautiful thing that can never grow wise.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Hmmm... ever heard of Blondes? ;)

[ouch, sorry Mallika - slightly more rational and non MCP comments below]

>In a spring day shall the tale be told
>Of the beautiful things that will never grow old.

Contrast this to beauty aged to perfection (or is it "ageless beauty"?) -
"She walks in beauty like the night // of cloudless climes and starry
skies" (Byron). Have you run that one yet, folks?

> This poem tells of the tyranny of beauty (at least to me) and since I
> read it at the same time as "The Glove and the Lions", and while
> learning proverbs ('None but the Brave deserve the Fair'), I have an
> enduring belief that beauty causes us to do illogical things.

.... Causes us men to do illogical things, you should have
said. ;) However, you missed the second part of "The Glove and the
Lions" - the guy is not fooled by her beauty at all - he takes the glove
and throws it contemptuously at her face.

Was he fooled, or was he not? I'm still puzzled.

-s-

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