Poetry tonight! How do you select a favourite from a lifetime of poetry? One from school days, one from college days and one from last week....here they are:
The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.
Love bade me welcome by George Herbert
Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack from my first entrance in,
drew near to me, sweetly questioning if I lack'd anything.
“A guest”, I answer'd, “worthy to be here”.
Love said, “You shall be he.”
“I the unkinde, ungrateful! ? Ah my deare, I cannot look on thee.'”
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply, “Who made the eyes but I ?”
“Truth Lord, but I have marr'd them: let my shame go where it doth deserve.”
“And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?”
“My deare, then I will serve”.
“You must sit down”, says Love, “and taste my meat”.
So I did sit and eat.
Prayer by Carol Ann Duffy
Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.
Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.
Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.
I hope you enjoy them, or one of them, as much as I do!