Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm sure I've said this before but...

You know when you can't remember if you've actually said something aloud or not? This is the blog equivalent. I was sure I had blogged about this before but searching my own blog I can't find any sign of it. So, if this is all horribly familiar, I apologise.

Standing in a bookshop the other day, for no particular reason except I was waiting for someone and I had finished my own browsing, I picked up a copy of the Faber Book of Love Poetry. I literally flicked a few pages until the book was open in my hand and my eye settled on the poem below. It was one of those breathtaking moments when you realise someone has articulated an interior experience that you know well, but had no words for until that moment. 

I'm not so unworldly that I don't appreciate you can be a good person without sharing my aesthetic. Not everyone is going to be blown away by this poem. But on the off-chance that one or two of you out there are sufficiently similar to me in your taste and experience I offer you a poem by the little-known (but much appreciated by those who do) E. J. Scovell (1907-1999).

In A Wood

I saw my love, younger than primroses,
Sleeping in a wood.
Why do I love best what sleep uncloses,
Sorrowful creaturehood?

Dark, labyrinthine with anxiety,
His face is like a coiled infancy;
Like parched and wrinkled buds, the first of the year,
Thrown out on winter air.

Stiller than closed eyes of a nested bird
Clear from the covert of his sleeping,
One looked out that knows no human word
But gives me love and weeping.

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