Friday, February 29, 2008

Poetry Friday

I was wandering around the web this morning, looking for February poetry, this being a Leap Day and all, and, surprisingly, found quite a bit.

First, some Swinburne (from A Year's Carols):


Wan February with weeping cheer,
Whose cold hand guides the youngling year
Down misty roads of mire and rime,
Before thy pale and fitful face
The shrill wind shifts the clouds apace
Through skies the morning scarce may climb.
Thine eyes are thick with heavy tears,
But lit with hopes that light the year's.

I quite like this next one by Sara Teasdale. It really captures how we felt watching the eclipse last week, oddly enough, but without the snow. We stood there watching it as long as it watched us.

February Twilight

I stood beside a hill
Smooth with new-laid snow,
A single star looked out
From the cold evening glow.

There was no other creature
That saw what I could see--
I stood and watched the evening star
As long as it watched me.

And here is some Longfellow ("for all you long fellows," as my grade 12 Literature used to quip). Longfellow would have been 201 years old on the 27th of February (Happy Belated, Henry). So, without further ado, I give you:

Afternoon in February

The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead.

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red.

The snow recommences;
The buried fences
Mark no longer
The road o'er the plain;

While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes
A funeral train.

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell;

Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.

And now, since I've already used up a further ado, I'll give you some Much Ado (spoken by Don Pedro):

"Why, what's the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?"

But because I like this next line best, I'm going to use it as my finale. Can't you just see Emma Thompson delivering it? Oh, wait, I forgot...thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you CAN see her delivering it!

"I wonder you will still be talking, Signior Benedick; nobody marks you."

Poetry Friday is being hosted by the ever-so-charming Kelly at Writing and Ruminating.


Sara said...

Oh, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed that movies. Such good bickering. :)

Kelly Fineman said...

Firstly, let me thank you for dubbing me "charming." Secondly, oh, how I love Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson. And Much Ado About Nothing and all other Shakespeare comedies (and several tragedies, and oh! the sonnets).

The roundup of February poems was most excellent, and I cannot pick a favorite. Maybe the Teasdale, but the Longfellow won't let me go.

Cloudscome said...

Thanks for these February poems. They make the dreary weather that much more bearable.