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Spring Wedding -- Andrew Motion

Guest poem sent in by Sally Canzoneri
(Poem #1675) Spring Wedding
 I took your news outdoors, and strolled a while
 In silence on my square of garden-ground
 Where I could dim the roar of arguments,
 Ignore the scandal-flywheel whirring round,
 And hear instead the green fuse in the flower
 Ignite, the breeze stretch out a shadow-hand
 To ruffle blossom on its sticking points,
 The blackbirds sing, and singing take their stand.
 I took your news outdoors, and found the Spring
 Had honored all its promises to start
 Disclosing how the principles of earth
 Can make a common purpose with the heart.
 The heart which slips and sidles like a stream
 Weighed down by winter-wreckage near its source -
 But given time, and come the clearing rain,
 Breaks loose to revel in its proper course.
-- Andrew Motion
Note: By Andrew Motion, Britain's Poet Laureate, on the occasion of Prince
Charles's marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles.

I heard a commentator on the radio this week say that if, as Samuel Johnson
said, second marriages are "the triumph of hope over experience," then
Prince Charles' and Camilla Parker Bowles' union is the exception, as this
is clearly a case of experience triumphing over hope.  Charles' wedding to
Princess Diana was the stuff of fairy tales, with a fairy tale vision of
glittering, easily won love.  This time the wedding is the stuff of real
life -- two rather homely, middle aged people who have made the kind of
mistakes that most people have made by the time they are middle aged.  At
the same time, there is a wonderful romance to this wedding in the way these
two seem to have been meant for one another all along, in the way their love
has endured through the years, and in Charles' determination to overcome
obstacles to finally make Camilla his wife.

The poet laureate is responsible for producing verse to mark events of
national significance.  I think Motion has done his job wonderfully in this
instance.  This is an intimate poem that has a tone of being spoken very
directly to the happy couple. It is more a lovely gift to the bride and
groom than a celebration of a state occasion. That, and the emphasis on
nature, seems appropriate for a wedding that was meant to be quiet and
private and a couple who, apparently, are happiest in the countryside. Yet,
this poem isn't only about Charles and Camilla. It could as easily have been
written for an ordinary, unfamous couple. In this poem, Motion has captures
and celebrates the special beauty of hard-won, real world love -- love that
is private and personal to each couple, whatever their social status.

Andrew Motion was appointed Poet Laureate in 1999 upon the death of Ted
Hughes.

Sally Canzoneri

[Martin adds]

When we ran Motion's "Regime Change" [Poem #1215], Brian Probert commented that

  I feel he has rather wasted what could have been a brilliant poem about
  the eternal violent nature of man to make a partisan statement about
  what, in historical terms is just a transient affair.

It is interesting, I think, to contrast the essentially universal nature of
today's poem with the slightly[1] more immediate tinge of "Regime Change" -
perhaps it is that loving couples are all alike, but each war torn nation is
war torn in its own way.

[1] but only slightly - I don't fully agree with Brian, though I see his point

martin

42 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

William Grey said...

I especially liked:
The heart which slips and sidles like a stream

Weighed down by winter-wreckage near its source
I take this to be a reference to Mum (Betty Windsor) and Dad (Phil the Greek).
William

تقنية said...

William : me too William for the same reason its very good

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