Friday, May 29, 2009

Received Milly Jourdain's poems in the mail, and they are breaking my heart. More anon, because I am writing a review of them. Somebody has to. But I'll give you a poem:

Watching the Meet

Joan Arden [Milly Jourdain]

The air is still so new and fresh and cold,
It makes a warm excitement in our hearts
To drive beside the sad and lonely fields.
And now we see a wider space of road
Where groups of horsemen moving restlessly
Are waiting for the quiet-footed hounds.
The hounds come swiftly, covering the way
Like foaming water surging round our feet.
And then with cries and sound of cracking whips
All, all are gone: the distant beat of hoofs
Like trailing smoke of dreams, comes fitfully
To tell how near they were a moment past.
But we see only winter trees again,
And turning homewards meet a drifting rain.

Update: Well, I wrote the review at manic speed, in the space of three hours. Now I don't know what to do with it. Who publishes reviews of obscure, out-of-print poetry collections? I'll send it to you to read, however, if you'd like to see it.


Elizabeth G said...

This poem is so transparent and lovely. Your search to find the only available copy of a lost poet, your passion to write a review of her book, your typing out her poem bringing it into the light of day, so that we can see the fox hunt, the dogs surging like foam around the riders; all of this, is how the reader brings a moment to life again when a poem or collection miraculously surfaces to be read. And perhaps when we write we wonder if someday, decades from now, someone will find one of our poems opens a doorway in their heart, miraculously, a gift across time. Thank you for this lovely adventure you have shared with us!

Elizabeth G said...

PS yes, I want to read your review.

Dawn Potter said...

It gives me such happiness to have stumbled across this poet. Baron Wormser said in response her poems: "I found her work very moving, the real article. It bears out my feelings that the human race tends to focus on a few symbolic figures and ignore the many various poems of worth since it is easier to follow the hubbub of reputation than the pathways of sensibility."