Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rain and rain and rain today, and I am happy about it. The red buds on the maples are fat and glowing in the mist; the daffodils are denser and more brilliant than I have ever seen them. The colors of spring--gold, green, red, purple--are such balm.

Here is a sonnet by John Clare (1793-1864)--crazy, messy, clumsy, prescient John Clare, the accidental poet, clinging to the garments of Wordsworth; trying to say what he saw, and sometimes doing it. Call him the Gregory Corso of the Romantics.

To John Clare

John Clare

Well, honest John, how fare you now at home?
The spring is come and birds are building nests,
The old cock robin to the sty is come
With olive feathers and its ruddy breast,
And the old cock with wattles and red comb
Struts with the hens and seems to like some best,
Then crows and looks about for little crumbs
Swept out by little folks an hour ago;
The pigs sleep in the sty, the book man comes,
The little boy lets home-close nesting go
And pockets tops and taws where daisies bloom
To look at the new number just laid down
With lots of pictures and good stories too
And Jack-the-giant-killer's high renown.

Dinner tonight: Chicken with lovage, garlic greens, chives, and hop shoots. Salad of mixed wild greens picked in the rain. New bread. Custard pie with today's eggs. I want to make dinners like this every day of my life.

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