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.
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 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.  but only slightly - I don't fully agree with Brian, though I see his point martin