(Poem #1872) Song
All suddenly the wind comes soft, And Spring is here again; And the hawthorn quickens with buds of green, And my heart with buds of pain. My heart all Winter lay so numb, The earth so dead and frore, That I never thought the Spring would come, Or my heart wake any more. But Winter's broken and earth has woken, And the small birds cry again; And the hawthorn hedge puts forth its buds, And my heart puts forth its pain.
Note: frore (adj., archaic): Extremely cold; frosty. It's been a while since I ran anything by Brooke - something I thought I'd amend today. "Song" is actually not a poem I've read before; I was leafing idly (and a trifle sleepily) through Brooke's collected poems, looking for some old favourite I might have overlooked, when I was startled into awareness by the fourth line. Brooke is usually a poet I find soothing, even at his bitterest - his words often speak of restlessness and heartache, but they do it with a quiet melancholy and philosophical tone that convey an unspoken measure of acceptance. Today's poem stands in sharp contrast - it is stripped of the usual 'detached observer' voice that runs in constant counterpoint through most of Brooke's poetry, the words and expression are simple to the extent that from a lesser poet they'd have degenerated into amateurishness. Here, instead, the net result is that the words get out of the way, and let the poem's emotional content through, in a manner very reminiscent of Teasdale (normally not someone I would compare to Brooke at all). One of the things I enjoy most about running Minstrels is the way it has forced a shift in the way I read poetry, from a passive intake of other people's selections to an active search through reams of verse, looking with an anthologist's eye for a more than usually good one. Today's poem is an excellent example of the rewards of such an endeavour - an uncharacteristic Brooke poem that I'd likely never have come across were I not systematically reading through his collected works, but one that I am very glad to have discovered. martin [Links] Wikipedia on Brooke: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Brooke The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/7086/brookeidx.htm