A Shropshire Lad
A Shropshire Lad 2: Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Related Poem Content Details
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
Waiting for transport home from Bridlington Eye Clinic, there was a gorgeous cherry tree outside the window which made me think of this ~ I was rather pleased to find I could remember it, though I did have trouble with the second verse, it must be years since it last popped into my head ~ anda good sreventy years since I first learnt it ~ and here we are indeed at Eastertide and cherry trees hung with snow. I've never been to Shropshire but I do like Housman ~ Matry Webb writes about Shropshire too ~ "Precious Bane" is my favourite novel.
At school we had to learn loads of poetry off by heart ~ I keep hearing experts debating the issue on Radio4 but to have a head stuffed full of such treasures cannot be a bad thing ~ nowadays it is frowned on, I gather ~ let the darlings write theor own poems !! Fine ~ but encourage them to learn the work of the masters as well. It may sound corny to all you smart folk, but the day we 'did' Tennyson's "The Lady of Shallot" I was practically overwhelmed by it ~ by the beauty of his language ~ I cycled home in a state of ecstacy and before helping Mum to get the tea ready, I lay on my bed and learnt the first verse ~ it is a very long poem, but for the next couple of weeks I persevered in this way until I had the whole thing safely embedded in my head ~ even now sometimes, particularly if I can't get off to sleep, the Lady of Shallot comes to my aid ~ I see how far into it I can get before oblivion ~ it nearly always works ~ I must Google it and discover whether there ever was such a sad lady, or Tennyson simply made her up ~ whatever, it is a wonderful poem.
Good Friday : at home in Bristol, Mother made a big thing of the Christian Festivals ~ on Good Fridays she'd go to the three hour service (recalling the three hours it is said it took Jesus to die on the cross) : sometimes she would have to pop home during the service to feed the latest baby ~ even though I am a heathen and have been for years, I guess the significance of Good Friday was drummed into us ~ I remember on Good Friday in Lausanne (on my au pair year) I was free of duties in the house ~ Mme HM had old friends visiting from Germany and I was clearly in the way ~ so I slipped into town, to the cinema ~ ON GOOD FRIDAY !! I fully expected a voice to come booming out of the clouds denouncing me as a heretic ! Going to the pictures on GOOD FRIDAY ! Shame on you woman !
The longed for brown jersey arrived from La Redoute : £17.50 ~ but even a man's XL size was not as baggy as I hoped ~ I've washed it straight away on the delicate program and while it is still wet I've shaken it and stretched it and now it is on a hanger where hopefully its own weight will do the trick ~ I do likr baggy jerseys. Bill is bringing Georgie over tomorrow ~ he is being really supportive now the bloody Parkinson's is taking hold and though she can still drive, not all this way from Driffield ~ last time she was here she left me a Lindt Easter Egg, bless her ~ so what with that and these mystery flowers I'm doing rather well ~ as for the flowers, I've contacted nearly every possibility ~ who could have left them on the step ~ it's a bit tricky asking, as if I could expect them to bring me flowers ~ so far, everyone has taken my enquiry in good part ~ nobody has said, "Why on earth would I do that ?"
From the author's notes at the back of it, the book I've been reading on Kindle, The Witchfinder's Sister" by Beth Underdown is based on historical fact ~ this Matthew is recorded as being personally responsible for the condemnation and hanging of at least 106 "witches" ~ now I'm starting on another title of Pearl Buck (The Good Earth) "The Last Empress (of China) ~ so let me close this down and get stuck into it.