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Monday, 30 May 2011

William Wordsworth: "Three years she grew in sun and shower..."


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"Alaniz Fletcher, Marissa A"

Battle Creek storm, 29 May 2011: photo by Alaniz Fletcher, Marissa A/ Battle Creek (Michigan) Enquirer



Three years she grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said...

Both law and impulse:

To kindle or restrain.

The floating clouds
bend...

Even in the motions of the Storm
Grace





Daniel Dalder --This is the storm that came through West Lafayette around 2pm.

The storm that came through West Lafayette around 2 p.m., 29 May 2011: photo by Daniel Dalder / Battle Creek (Michigan) Enquirer

William Wordsworth: "Three years she grew in sun and shower..." (fragments), 1798

15 comments:

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Three years she grew. . .

Then Nature said. . .

The floating clouds
bend. . .

5.30

pink coming into cloud above still black
ridge, blue jay landing on redwood fence
in foreground, sound of waves in channel

that connected with “speech,”
other word for “word”

determined, exit from world
of responses, so from

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
line of pelicans gliding toward horizon

curtisroberts said...

Thank you for this ellipsis and for all it includes. It brings a lot to mind and it was wonderful to read the poem again. The Michigan atmosphere reminds me of the air and sky this morning in the Hudson Valley, both in their "current" appearance in the photos and their implications, both great and small for the week ahead. I’m glad it’s Jane taking finals and not I. I have enough on my mind already. I love Stephen's poem, especially the last four lines, their point of view and the picture they paint so clearly.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

"And her's the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.

She ... left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been ..."

aditya said...

The Storm Grace out patrolling the sky tonight. Wonderful poem and pictures.
I am hoping for a little wet sky, at least by the time I go out after writing this comment. Here's a beauty too.

aditya said...

again!

curtisroberts said...

Aditya: What a great picture.

Ed Baker said...

yes .aditya, that monsoon photo ... terrific ...

no words necessary


(looks like a person with an 'eye" and an old Brownie Hawkeye/Box Camera took it)

VINCENT FARNSWORTH said...

thanks as usual for your juxtapositions of not incongruent images and words

they are always memorial

the creek is always a battle --
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aditya said...

Thanks Curtis and Ed.

Taken by Raghu Rai. This is if I am not mistaken, Delhi, sometime back in the mid-60s when the old Brownie Hawkeyes were still doing the 'business' and India was beginning to learn the 'modes of modern civilization'.

aditya said...

Some of his work

And it was 1984! We have spent a lot of time learning the modes.

TC said...

I have the oddest feeling of late that we're all taking finals right now. Maybe it's just me. Or maybe it's just that biting wind whipping through the dark trees, driving small sharp nails of rain ahead of it, as the next in the seemingly endless parade of wintersummer storms blows in off the ocean.

All our old aching creaks and cracks and creeks are embattled memorials.

The ellipses in the poem as I have posted it will I hope not entirely violate the spirit of Wordsworth's original (and his resident spirit as well as I am grateful to Don for reminding us of the wonderful bits I have left out).

In this ellipsing method there was an attempt at channeling a kind of calculated madness. The imagination has long been tempted to wonder what might have happened with Wordsworth's poetry had he, like that other great poet born in the same year, Hölderlin, foundered on the rocks of fragmentation, lacunae, inner demons. The strange, evocative, tormented fragments of Hölderlin, which evidently date from the same years in which WW was completing his first draft of the Prelude, seem perhaps to bespeak an extraordinary possession by a future delayed two centuries... and occurring now.

W continued on to a ripe and extremely "normal" old age, timeserving comfortably as a civil servant, gradually revising the genius out of his Prelude, and never again reaching the lyric heights of his youth. H ended up in a loony bin. Prophecy in poetry is an inadvertent and scary business at best.

And lo, the hail fell large as golf balls upon sunshine yoga.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Tom, of course it was your ellipsis that sent me scurrying back to the original for which I am very grateful, indeed. I know the intent of that ellipsis, if only inadvertantly, was not to open up general discussion of the poem, so I'll leave it at simply giving nature voice as he does, is a wonderful, powerful thing.

Which sets me to thinking of Blyth again.

What a tangle the mind is.

TC said...

Well, let us at least disentangle our way back to the original, without delay, while we're still here:



Three years she grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said, "A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown;
This Child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A Lady of my own.

"Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.

"She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn,
Or up the mountain springs;
And her's shall be the breathing balm,
And her's the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.

"The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the Storm
Grace that shall mould the Maiden's form
By silent sympathy.

"The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.

"And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell."

Thus Nature spake--The work was done--
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.

Ed Baker said...

this piece (also) quiets me
,thanks
(I am thinking on his use of the (&position of) the quotation marks
especially that closing quotation mark !

perhaps he is simultaneously inside and outside of his memory/ies ?


"she"
"flower"
"earth"
"girl"
"rock"
"dance"

&THEN the abstractions counterpointing !

et ceteras ....

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Thanks, Tom, for further excursions into possibilities of ellipsis, had WW (like FH) "foundered on the rocks of fragmentation, lacunae, inner demons. The strange, evocative, tormented fragments of Hölderlin, which evidently date from the same years in which WW was completing his first draft of the Prelude, seem perhaps to bespeak an extraordinary possession by a future delayed two centuries... and occurring now."

And thanks, Aditya, for RR's great photo of monsoon in Delhi (and all the others too). . . .