Monday, October 05, 2020

Maybe …

… Review: “The Listeners and other poems” by Walter de la Mare | Form in Formless Times. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Those poems are all at the beginning of the book, and after them the poems degenerate into unequal attempts to catch the evocative spirit.
Well, I have just started reading Imagination of the Heart, Theresa Whistler's biography of de la Mare. I have also been reading the Collected Poems,  just dipping into it at random. I just came upon this one, far into the book:

For All The Grief

For all the grief I have given with words
May now a few clear flowers blow,
In the dust, and the heat, and the silence of birds,
Where the lonely go.

For the thing unsaid that heart asked of me
Be a dark, cool water calling - calling
To the footsore, benighted, solitary,
When the shadows are falling.

O, be beauty for all my blindness,
A moon in the air where the weary wend,
And dews burdened with loving-kindness
In the dark of the end.

I see no diminution of quality in that.
My fellow de la Mare fan, Stephen Pentz, in a recent post had much to say of de la Mare (it's what prompted me to get Whistler's biography.) Here is that post: Awake. And here is something from it:
 In the year prior to his death, he said to a visitor: "My days are getting shorter.  But there is more and more magic.  More than in all poetry.  Everything is increasingly wonderful and beautiful." 

But, as they say, read the whole thing.


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