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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:01 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Wilfred Owen died on this day, aged only 25. Killed in war, just a few days before Armistice.

A few years later, when Rabindranath Tagore was visiting Britain, he received a letter from a Mrs Susan Owen, Wilfred Owen’s mother. She told him that when her son had also been a poet, and that when he had last been at home, he had read to her a translation of one of Rabindranath’s poems. And when they returned his pocket book to her afterwards, it contained a scrap of paper bearing this translation. I do not have the exact translation Wilfred Owen had read, but the opening lines of this poem begin, in my own inadequate words: “Before the day I must depart, may I say just this - What I have seen, what I have received, has been beyond compare.”  

I was listening to Britten War Requiem only yesterday. In it, Britten intercuts the Lachrymosa with the poem “Futility”, Owen’s almost unbearable lament for a dead comrade.

Move him into the sun—
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it awoke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.
Think how it wakes the seeds—
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs so dear-achieved, are sides
Full-nerved,—still warm,—too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
—O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?



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Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 3338


Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No matter how often this poem is read it's always deeply moving.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2932


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been reading Portrait of a Marriage by Nigel Nicolson and he quotes this poem by Vita Sackville-West (who never seems to be known as Vita Nicolson despite her long marriage to Harold).  I found Vita's style a bit overblown in her account of her affair with Violet Trefusis but this was written much later in the second world war and is simpler.

Does it have a title? There isn't one here:

I must not tell how dear you are to me.
It is unknown, a secret from myself
Who should know best. I would not if I could
Expose the meaning of such mystery.

I loved you then, when love was Spring, and May.
Eternity is here and now, I thought;
The pure and perfect moment briefly caught
As in your arms, but still a child, I lay.

Loved you when summer deepened into June
And those fair, wild, ideal dreams of youth
Were true yet dangerous and half unreal
As when Endymion kissed the mateless moon.

But now when autumn yellows all the leaves
And thirty seasons mellow our long love,
How rooted, how secure, how strong, how rich,
How full the barn that holds our garnered sheaves!


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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 658


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm feeling quite Mike Harveyish today, having pulled a book off the shelf more or less at random and found it to contain something called 'The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.'
Who knew?
This was my mother's, inscribed by her to herself in 1953. What a gal.

It consists of quatrains (I believe they're called), with the occasional exotic print, translated by Edward Fitzgerald, who I read did the 'first and most famous' translation of the Rubaiyat. Better yet, we may be related, since my maternal great-granny was a Fitzgerald

The verse itself? I'm afraid I remain unmoved. Pleasant enough, I suppose, and it evokes the mysterious east. But.....


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Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 3338


Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night

Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:

And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught

The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.

Marvellous!!


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't argue with that. A mother to be proud of, Joe.



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