Oh to be in England
Now that April’s there…..
So begins the famous poem Home Thoughts, From Abroad by Robert Browning, written in 1845 when he was feeling homesick in Italy. It is a lovely poem and I have always taken pleasure from poems of Nature. One of the few “arty” things I learned at school was the poem “Daffodils” by William Wordsworth. In later life as a wannabee poet I discovered the words of John Clare and wept with frustration at my dullness. These days what poetry I have I secrete in my novels like a pinch of mono-sodium glutamate among the stir fried bean sprouts of new love. (Guess what I’ve been cooking for dinner?)
It was a release to get away from the office and go to the Bluebell woods at Mottisfont in Hampshire. I took my camera and tried to capture the crushing fragility of such beauty. All I could think of was the poem by Oscar Sparrow entitled simply “Bluebells”. So much of our longing as humans comes down to a need to hold on and endure. Humble flowers with their immense beauty and perfume fade before our eyes and we cannot hold them any more than we can hold ourselves on the shingle shores of Time. And yet in poetry we can pass on a few moments that in the act itself of sharing, flower over and over as seeds, roll over and over as waves, kiss over and over as innocent lovers: as if no bloom before had offered such beauty or no lips before had ever known the joy of the kiss.
These were my feelings when I first read Oscar Sparrow’s poem. Putting away all the bawdy splash and dash of selling the stuff and beating the drum which is a novelist’s/publisher’s life, I was in those woods – trying to hold back Time, trying to breathe in the blue.
Emma thinx: Memory is your portrait. Select your poses to paint you.