Thursday, 2 October 2008

Poem of the week

This week's poem is taken from 'Consider the Years' -- I've been trying to find one that expresses my feelings of uncertainty and nerves coupled with a general feeling that all will be well, and it will be well soon.

Unfortunately I've failed - but I've found a beautiful one that's right for the dusk that is drawing around me at this moment.

'I Can Hear Music' -- 1946

I can hear music from a long way off.
Faint it is, but there are people stopping to listen,
pausing in the middle of their work to turn
their heads towards the unrecognizable tune.
It is not much of a sound at the moment;
but everywhere, all over the world,
there are stiff hands stretching out to grope
for slack-stringed violins and tarnished trumpets,
for out-of-tune pianos and reedless bassoons.
There is a snapping open on velvet-cases,
and a whisking of green baize off the keys,
and a tinkle of rosin on to the parquet floor.
there is a moistening of lips grown dry with words of command,
and a trembling of fingers rigid from rifle's rim.
The voices are lifted again, uncertain, strange,
but coming towards us every day from the seas
and the desert lands, the dark lands where singing
has been muffled under the sad beat of the drums.
Soon we shall know the tune, and shall run to our doors
as the orchestras thunder by with bright bugles blowing,
to join in the song which though lost was never forgotten,
the heart, like an unchaged bird, winging to God.

Truly, if you only every buy one Persephone book in your life, it should be this collection of poetry by Virginia Graham - her poems on war time are small gems.

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