Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Book Club

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!


Ian Poulton said...

An eclectic choice.

The only poem our book club has read is Easter 1916, which we did along with O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars

Elizabeth Hanna said...

Our evening went so enthusiastically that we've planned to do another one! People brought two or three of their favourites and the discussion took off in a way it hasn't before.