With you I always saw the potted palms
Marble floors and Chinese jardinieres
Polished ancient oak and well-worn arms
Of venerable tufted leather chairs.
Curious how your face evoked the glow
Of firelight and candles in old brass!
When I knew you, the wine had ceased to flow,
And so I have no love for Irish glass.
But crewel and damask ~ spices from the East ~
Herbal tea and pottery Quimper
Feed my sorrow, as my my eyes do feast
On relics left from life within your care.
O, dearest, gentle one, you were the Past ~
A waking dream ~ a joy that could not last.
~ FreeThinke - November 3, 1984
In memory of a particular friend?ReplyDelete
Died twenty-eight years ago this day, AOW. Never to be forgotten. Always to be appreciated -- more and more with each passing year.ReplyDelete
This reminds me of Tennyson's poem to "Old Fitz"...ReplyDelete
One of the friends who worried away at Tennyson to have his work published was Edward FitzGerald, who loved both the poems and their author, although he was too stubborn to hide his feelings when a particular poem failed to win his approval. "Old Fitz" nagged at Tennyson, who in the spring of 1842 agreed to break his ten long years of silence.
The two volumes of Poems (1842) were destined to be the best-loved books Tennyson ever wrote. The first volume was made up of radically revised versions of the best poems from the 1832 volume, most of them in the form in which they are now known. The second volume contained new poems, among them some of those inspired by Hallam's death, as well as poems of widely varying styles, including the dramatic monologue "St. Simeon Stylites"; a group of Authurian poems; his first attempt to deal with rampant sexuality, "The Vision of Sin"; and the implicitly autobiographical narrative "Locksley Hall," dealing with the evils of worldly marriages, which was to become one of his most popular poems during his lifetime.
"One height and one far-shining fire!"
And while I fancied that my friend
For this brief idyll would require
A less diffuse and opulent end,
And would defend his judgment well,
If I should deem it over nice‹
The tolling of his funeral bell
Broke on my Pagan Paradise,
And mixt the dream of classic times,
And all the phantoms of the dream,
With present grief, and made the rhymes,
That miss'd his living welcome, seem
Like would-be guests an hour too late,
Who down the highway moving on
With easy laughter find the gate
Is bolted, and the master gone.
Gone onto darkness, that full light
Of friendship! past, in sleep, away
By night, into the deeper night!
The deeper night? A clearer day
Than our poor twilight dawn on earth‹
If night, what barren toil to be!
What life, so maim'd by night, were worth
Our living out? Not mine to me
Remembering all the golden hours
Now silent, and so many dead,
And him the last; and laying flowers,
This wreath, above his honor'd head,
And praying that, when I from hence
Shall fade with him into the unknown,
My close of earth's experience
May prove as peaceful as his own.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson
Thank you, Joe, for Tennyson's Old Fitz.ReplyDelete
A rare treat it is for me to be compared to such a master.
As I believe you have divined, writing verse is my way of saying things that cannot -- or should not -- be expressed in language too direct.
It diffuses anger, eases hear break, quells anxiety and enable me to maintain a sense of humor and a necessary distance from myself.
As doubtless you have seen in my postings on Obama's dereliction of duty on Benghazi to his shameless showboating with Governor Christie after Sandy Superstorm, my temper gets the better of me, and I become intemperate almost to the point of violence.
The discipline it takes to adhere to a strict, time-honored metric form does much to cool and refine pure emotion.
Looking back I think "RAW" emotion would have been the better term.ReplyDelete