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Poetry Friday (and a game!)

May 10, 2007

My first Friday poem is dedicated to the memory of the spectacular Harison’s Yellow Rose which bloomed prodigally in the first week of June on the corner of Harrison Street and the Troy Highway. It had likely been there 60 years, judging from its size; it had certainly been there 28 years, because I remember seeing it in 1978, when we moved back to Moscow, golden, incandescent, covering the ground for yards with yellow petals. Harison’s is an old-fashioned rose, and it blooms just once in the season–two weeks of glory, and then the long wait round the calendar again.

But none of us will see that particular glorious sight again, because some fool grubbed it up and left a gaping, empty ditch where it used to grow.

Binsley Poplars
FELLED 1879

MY aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,
Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,
All felled, felled, all are felled;
Of a fresh and following folded rank
Not spared, not one
That dandled a sandalled
Shadow that swam or sank
On meadow and river and wind-wandering
weed-winding bank.

O if we knew but what we do
When we delve or hew–
Hack and rack the growing green!
Since country is so tender
To touch her, being so slender,
That, like this sleek and seeing ball
But a prick will make no eye at all,
Where we, even when we mean
to mend her we end her,
When we hew or delve:
After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.
Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve
Strokes of havoc unselve
The sweet especial scene,
Rural scene, a rural scene,
Sweet especial rural scene.

–Gerard Manley Hopkins

(The game? These Little Pigs, from the Weary Parent’s Truest Friend, Orisinal.)

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