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Saturday, April 26, 2014

National Poetry Month, Day 26: Dead poets society

Thames from the London Eye, August 2013
I probably owe William Wordsworth a major apology for the train wreck of today, and the best way to say I'm sorry is to share the real stuff with you right up front to make up for what's coming shortly:

Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Of course our regular readers reader will remember our visit to London last summer and our walk across this very bridge (actually a couple of walks), which we wrote about here.

Our last day in London came to mind when we read today's poetry prompt from the Writer's Digest Poem a Day challenge
... write a water poem. Life depends upon water, so there are any number of ways to write this prompt. A few thoughts that jump to mind include pollution, rising water levels, hurricanes, fracking, and more.
William, we're so sorry, but we had to try.

Walking over Wordsworth

At Westminster we walk
over the dead and caress
their marble memories.
You’re here but not here;
you can’t even look at us
as we contemplate
the poets in this corner
Who gave us nobler loves and nobler cares
including you. You’ve lost
your pen, too, and really?
You’re buried in Grasmere,
and somehow this chapel
feels as empty as your
chiseled eyes.

Late in the afternoon
we walk across
Westminster Bridge;
a low and saffron sun shines
and the memory of ten thousand
sunsets balance on the waves
of the Thames. We stop to
watch the boats below
beside a man who
points to the water and says,
The river glideth at his own sweet will –
then strolls away into the crowd,
lost to us in the light.

There's at least two good lines there, right?


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