Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lobster and oysters last night, singing and fiddling tonight. In the meantime weeding and laundry and grass mowing. Possibly I'll find a spot to insert a verb into this litany. Possibly not. It seems to be a gerund kind of morning.

What would Milly Jourdain say?
White Poplar 
Milly Jourdain
The sunshine lies along the winding road
And white dry leaves are falling from the tree;
We stay and watch them fluttering to the ground,
For now we know the silver leaves are free.
The leaves like still about the sun-dried lane,
Waiting until the winter winds shall blow
Their patient selves to heaps of sodden mould,
Ready to help some other plants to grow.
Well, that's rather disappointing, isn't it? The first line is nice enough, but the poem rapidly descends into Hallmarkian tedium. I can imagine a needlepoint version of this poem. Oh well. I should have stuck with my gerunds. 

To cheer us all up after that disappointment, I offer you a few lines of a real poem: Beowulf, in Seamus Heaney's remarkable translation.
In off the moors, down through the mist bands
God-cursed Grendel came greedily loping.
The bane of the race of men roamed forth,
hunting for a prey in the high hall.
Under the cloud-murk he moved towards it
until it shone above him, a sheer keep
of fortified gold.
How do you think this would look in needlepoint?


Carlene said...

I have an image in my head now of those lines in needlepoint...the Beowulf ones. I think bold crimson letters, maybe some gold threads...

Carol Willette Bachofner said...

I cannot think of Beowulf in needlepoint... unless in its original language!

I agree with you however about the Heaney translation... it is remarkable. I may have to pick that up to read again.