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Silver -- Walter de la Mare

Guest poem sent in by sukrit
(Poem #725) Silver
 Slowly, silently, now the moon
 Walks the night in her silver shoon;
 This way, and that, she peers, and sees
 Silver fruit upon silver trees;
 One by one the casements catch
 Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
 Couched in his kennel, like a log,
 With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
 From their shadowy cote the white breast peep
 Of doves in silver-feathered sleep;
 A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
 With silver claws and a silver eye;
 And moveless fish in the water gleam,
 By silver reeds in a silver stream.
-- Walter de la Mare
        Silver is the creation of the moon. The sunlights falls on the
moon, it reflects it back to earth and the world becomes a poem.

        Devoid of any sort of quasi-intellectualism we often try to put
on, the poem  radiates a lovely naturalness. Try this - close your eyes
and be inside the frame of this poem. Its a pleasure beyond words.

        This poem has something that needs to be felt rather than
just read or admired (for Walter's dexterity with words) i quote from
"Three Pillars of Zen", "Every koan is a unique expression of the living,
indivisible Buddha-nature, which cannot be grasped by the  bifurcating
intellect...To people who cherish the letter above the spirit, koans
appear bewildering (and may i add trite, in our case)...(koans) force
us to open ours mind's eye and see the world and everything in it
undistorted by our concepts and judgments". Maybe its stretching it,
calling this poem a koan, or maybe it isn't?

sukrit

--
        "It's today!" said Piglet.
        "My favorite day," said Pooh.

28 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Gwen McLean said...

I recalled this poem and could remember how I loved it WWWWAY back when.
Today my sister asked her book club and 3 of the ladies recited the
first line and one gave the whole poem!! That is how i found SILVER
Thank you so much . Now if you are Canadian, what year was this studied
in school? Same question if you are American or Whatever wonderful
country you hail from!! Gwen McLean

MsRight123 said...

I have always loved this poem, but could only remember the line of "silver
fruit upon siler trees." I was surfing the web and just thought maybe if I
entered that line, I possibly could come across my favoirtie poem learned in
highschool. Now I'm so thankful I found it, it has been 12 years since I first
read it.

DKK DKKK said...

Hey there! Just wanted to drop in and say that I think this poem is extremely beautiful. I'm a freshman in highschool (to answer the Canadian guy's question), and I chose this above all of the other poems. I know I'm no poetry expert, but I just had to say that this poem's incredible ^_^

P.S. Typo alert!! "From their shadowy cote the white breast peep" (9) you should replace the breast with breasts...

wangbo said...

Hello, I am a Chinese. I learned this poem when I was a university freshman. It was not in any textbook we used at that time. It was given by my favorite English teacher Mrs Li. She was above sixty and her husband is one of my favorit English teachers too. I still remember the first eight lines, but forget the next six lines. I love this poem as all of you do. Good teachers always leave something good in our mind that makes us difficult to forget them.

Sharvi Mehta said...

I like - With paws of ailver sleeps the dog

John Hooke said...

was reminded of this poem whilst watching the moon outside my window. I
learned it at school and had almost forgotten some of the words how nice to
find others enjoying it too. A great pleasure to find it again. trudie

Barbara McLachlan said...

Incase my fisrt attempt didn't work.

I learn't this poem at secondry school and liked it, but over the years
I forgot the lines. I plan to make a small quilt for an organisation
called National Needlework Archive poems in stitches. I found out about
this organisation yesterday at the Festival of Quilts N.E.C. Birmingham
UK. This morning I surfed the web to find it and was overjoyed when I
did.

Barbara McLachlan said...

Silver,

I learnt this at secondry school 1957/1961 Bishop Simpson Cof E Redhill
Surrey UK and forgot the lines but not the title.

Yesterday at The Festival of Quilts N.E.C. Birmingham UK I came a cross
a stand for the National Needlework Archive "Poems in the Waiting Room"
They want poems in stitches. I plan to register to make a Block 24" by
24" which is the required size. Hopefully they will get the copyright
for me to do it.

I found the site on the Web this morning and was overjoyed. I showed my
daughter and granddaughter as well.

This poem says that it needs to be an embroidery rather than a
patchwork, I will try both options as I am not an expert in either just
a beginner really.

Barbara.

odarp said...

A friend came back from a camping trip and spoke of a walk through the woods under a full moon. She was reminded of the words "under the silvery moon." I was reminded of this poem, which my mother would read aloud to me. It is nice to experience it again. I will share it with my friend.

Fay Prado, Vero Beach, Florida

david.bell04 said...

Re Silver , I had to learn this wonderful poem at junior school in Cornwall UK . Reading it again sure takes me back to 1969, and Mr Buscombe our teacher, it was his favorite.many thanks . David Bell..

Steve Lewis said...

I stepped out and looked at the moon last night, and parts of this poem
seemed to catch in my mind much like the casements. This poem
defies dissection and catches the moon.
KLEINFELDER
EXPECT MORE

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HILOHIGH said...

It never fails...whenever I see the moon, I recite the first 2 lines of this
poem. All those around me over the years, friends and family alike know it
by heart. This all comes from having a wonderful English teacher, Ms. Michi
Morimoto at Hilo Intermediate School, on the Big Island of Hawaii, back in
1969. Great educators leave great impressions that lasts a lifetime!

David Lettvin said...

I memorized this poem in the fourth grade and never forgot it.

Kelli Rush said...

I love this poem, have loved it for a long time. Often think of it on nights
with a bright moon.

Kelli Rush

Trevor Lyons said...

I last read this wonderful poem in 1956! Just a note on the word
"shoon": it's not just poetic license, to rhyme with "moon", but also
recalls the German plural for "shoes". When the poem was written, this
linguistic link may have been more obvious. There may be an intended
link between "shoon" and "sheen" - but I'm not convinced! Trevor Lyons

ken summers said...

I learned this poem at infants school in 1931, I was five yrears old at the time, and I recited it at the local Music Festival. I have been searching for it ever since we have had a computer and have just managed to find your site through Google. Thanks a million. O.S.in South Shields

Carla Anderson said...

There are a few poems that I have memorized in my life; this is probably
my favorite, having had it in my head for about 35 years. I am now
preparing to do a poetry reading for my daughter's 3rd grade class, and
some of the insightful comments here will be added to my discussion of
it with the kids. My hope is to awaken at least a few of them to the
beautiful world of poetry at an early age, so they don't find it as
mysterious and daunting as I did in high school.

Barbara's comment about needlework has lighted a bulb for me that I'd
like to find time to design and hook a rug inspired by Silver. Question
is, which wonderful image to highlight?

mrgreasley said...

When walking back from work, at the dark hour of midnight, I used to
look up at the moon, and its beautiful waning light, and think of the
"silver reeds" as I walked past the dark puddles... lovely poem, and
thanks for placing it on the site...

GILLMCCLEAVE said...

I love this poem soooo much.
I don't ever remember doing it at school. My first memory is singing an
arrangement of it in a competition when I was about 17, but I can't believe I
didn't know it before that.
I came back to it as a teacher and used it with my class of 11 year olds.
They loved it too and I hope they will remember it. I was looking for it
today to use it on a course for teachers!

Legrove John said...

Many years ago when I was small my Mother read this little poem to me. I can
still hear her lovely voice. I have often spoken the first line to myself
since then. It sounds almost like a prayer. It was so nice to find the poem
on your website and at last I can relay this gem to others.
John.

Suzanne Belcher said...

I first learned this poem in 5th grade in l948!! It captured my
imagination then, and is still my very favorite of all times. Thanks for
including it on your website.

Zaz said...

Silver is my all-time favourite poem and I want it recited at my funeral (many years from now)! I first learnt it in primary school in Hong Kong! (grade 4 or 5 for my N. American friends out there). Every full moon I think of this poem and I still feel a warm glow. Enjoy the moon, wherever you are!
In peace and love, Shereen.

Peter Wood said...

In 1961 , the state of Sarawak in Borneo island was part of the British empire and our English literature books were directly imported from England which is how I learned Silver .It's one of my chidhood memories that I treasure .

Carlean Fisher said...

Hello

I studied and loved this poem in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. I believe it was in my grade one reader. That would have been in
about 1941.

Carlean

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Anonymous said...

This is unbelievable! I was actually on my hammock and the moon just looked so splendid!! I was tryin 2 recall dis poem n all I cud remember was 'silver fruits upon silver trees' and I tot I shd google it!! Wasnt evn sure that I wud get it n then I bumped into dis!! As I read thru d comments, I was wonderstruck coz sum1 has xpressed xactly d same ;)
But im so glad I found it!!

Anonymous said...

shoon- Im guessing has something to do with 'schön' in German, meaning beatiful! Guess it was not just intended to rhyme but...

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