Friday, February 27, 2009

cling, swing, spring, sing

Children's voices in the orchard
Between the blossom- and the fruit-time:
Golden head, crimson head,
Between the green tip and the root.
Black wing, brown wing, hover over;
Twenty years and the spring is over;
To-day grieves and to-morrow grieves,
Cover me over, light-in-leaves;
Golden head, black wing,
Cling, swing,
Spring, sing,
Swing up into the apple-tree.

When we were little we had an oversize book with a blue cloth cover filled with photos of children of the world. Towards the back was a picture of a summer lake with a rope swing and boys jumping into the water. It could be the cover to A Separate Peace. I cannot look at a photo of a rope swing into a pond, nor see one in real life without thinking "cover me over, light-in-leaves."

We're not quite into the first week of Lent, technically still counting "days after Ash Wednesday" and I am still not quite sure of what I am taking up as a discipline. I'm reading an older book by Barbara Crofton Cawthorne, but it's not really snapping my socks. I don't particularly feel capable of giving up meat or changing my diet, although I am slovenly in my entitlement; I should try to be more accepting of saying no.

But poetry. I love poetry. I love the way words flow together, separate, become one whole and become owned by each reader. I particulary love the poetry of TS Eliot, whose poem New Hampshire is above and Gerard Manley Hopkins and Frank O'Hara - combinations of words that recreate God's flaming majesty in the oft-times ordinary.

Regardless of what else I take on, I am reading more poetry!