Poetry Friday: That Poem I Keep Forgetting To Remember

h1 December 8th, 2006 by eisha

*{Note: Read here at Chicken Spaghetti for today’s Poetry Friday round-up} . . .

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone.

We had our first snow of the season Monday. We’re having a bit more today. It’s almost winter, and it seems especially sudden after such a mild autumn. The leaves are gone, the radiators are clanging and hissing, all the stores have their snow shovels on display… It’s funny, but the same thing happens to me every year around this time. I get a couple of lines stuck in my head from this poem, only I can never actually remember the rest of the poem, or the poet.  Just these words:

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold

But every time I step outside to that sort of frigid bright winter sunlight – the kind that looks plenty warm from inside, but always comes with that fierce, inhuman New England wind – those lines pop into my head. And then they kind of scroll around in my brain on autoplay, over and over, until I have to look it up. And I discover (again) that the title is, in fact, “The Sunlight on the Garden.” And it’s by Louis MacNeice, an Irish-born poet and playwright from the first half of the 20th century. And I discover (again) how achingly lovely this poem is, and why the imagery stays with me year after year:

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Here’s the rest of the poem. Enjoy, and have a lovely day.

8 comments to “Poetry Friday: That Poem I Keep Forgetting To Remember”

  1. that’s some good stuff. thanks.

  2. That is a beautiful one, Eisha!

  3. Okay, may I direct to Kelly’s choice for the day? Another great one. Both hers and Eisha’s are lovely choices, new poems and new poets — for me, that is. I love Poetry Fridays. — jules

  4. Thanks, ladies. And I second Julie’s opinion of Kelly’s poetry selection. Good stuff.

  5. I’m amazed at the structure. It took me awhile to realize just how clever and perfect it was–which is fine because the main thing was its beauty. Thanks. You guys are always coming up with wonderful writing.

  6. Thanks, Bonny! I’m glad you liked it.

  7. Lovely poem. I love the interior rhymes he used, and just how the whole thing is paced.

  8. Yes, it’s really well-crafted, isn’t it? Is there a name for this form, I wonder?

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