Saturday, June 30, 2012

It is nearly impossible to remember how cold I was last week. Today it's bullfrog weather--air sultry and thick, grass sopped from last night's thunderstorm. By 9 a.m. the heat is already pressing through a veil of mist. The pods on my peavines are fattening. The arugula has bolted into white, square-toothed blossoms. Japanese beetles are fornicating on the rose leaves.

On today's schedule, music: first, Paul's piano recital; then an evening of band practice. I am reading A. S. Byatt's The Children's Book and am filled with fin-de-siecle melancholy, which is not helped by the fact that Blogger won't let me add an accent grave to siecle. 

Here's a poem by Edward Thomas, dear lost friend of Robert Frost's heart. He died in France, killed in action in 1917.

The Cherry Trees  
Edward Thomas
The cherry trees bend over and are shedding,
On the old road where all that passed are dead,
Their petals, strewing the grass as for a wedding
This early May morn when there is none to wed.

And here is the poem that Frost wrote after Thomas was killed.

To E. T. 
Robert Frost 
I slumbered with your poems on my breast,
Spread open as I dropped them half-read through
Like dove wings on a figure on a tomb,
To see if in a dream they brought of you 
I might not have the chance I missed in life
Through some delay, and call you to your face
First soldier, and then poet, and then both,
Who died a soldier-poet of your race. 
I meant, you meant, that nothing should remain
Unsaid between us, brother, and this remained--
And one thing more that was not then to say:
The Victory for what it lost and gained. 
You went to meet the shell's embrace of fire
On Vimy Ridge, and when you fell that day
The war seemed over more for you than me,
But now for me than you--the other way. 
How over, though, for even me who knew
The foe thrust back unsafe beyond the Rhine,
If I was not to speak of it to you
And see you pleased once more with words of mine?

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