Friday, March 28, 2008

Daffodils by Ted Hughes

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I couldn't help myself looking for more daffodil poems this week. Driving to and from work I am overcome with glimpses of their nodding gold along the road and tucked into unexpected corners. I stood out in yesterday's mist to photograph the clutch beside my son's daycare.

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Here is a poem by Ted Hughes. I've just given you the center of the second stanza and part of the third - you must click through to read the rest. It was published in his collection Birthday Letters in 1998, when he was Poet Laureate of England. The poems in this book are about his relationship to his late wife Sylvia Plath.

Treasure trove.
They simply came,
And they kept on coming.
As if not from the sod but falling from heaven.
Our lives were still a raid on our own good luck.
We knew we'd live forever. We had not learned
What a fleeting glance of the everlasting
Daffodils are.

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In the rain of that April-your last April.
We bent there together, among the soft shrieks
Of their jostled stems, the wet shocks shaken
Of their girlish dance-frocks-
Fresh-opened dragonflies, wet and flimsy,
Opened too early.

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The Friday Poetry round up is at Cuentecitos this week. Enjoy!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. The first and third photos look like painting. The light, and the colors, they are just amazing. You should get big prints and sell them. I'd buy a 8x10 for $25.

writer2b said...

Gorgeous photos. I'm so ready to see some where I live.

What a bittersweet poem. He gives so many incredible word pictures of the daffodils and their significance.

Reminds me of how I associate lilacs with my grandmother...

Cloudscome said...

Wow thank you! You made my day with these compliments.

I am so grateful to anyone who plants a garden that can be seen from the street. A person who puts daffodil bulbs (or any garden) into the ground blesses the world for generations.

Sara said...

I love the way you interspersed his words with your photos. Like his words are swaths of daffodils, too.

TadMack said...

Last weekend I discovered that daffodils grow wild here in Scotland -- that was a huge rush, to just wander along the river and stare at the daffodils. Never mind that it was snowing on my head, and freezing, and the wind was knifing me and my hands were freezing. I had visible evidence of Spring in what must be the longest winter on record. Thank God.

jama said...

What a beautiful post! Poetry in words and pictures. You are a genius photographer!

sheila said...

Oh, that's gorgeous. I love it: "soft shrieks." Great great imagery.

Marianne H. Nielsen said...

Oh this was so beautiful, both the pictures and the words. Thank you, I can't wait for the daffodils to show up here.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Cloudscome,

I love your photographs of the daffodils. They're picture poems. I've loved daffodils since childhood--their bright yellow bringing color to our spring days that are, too often, cool and gray where I live.

Kelly Fineman said...

Beautiful post! I liked the full poem as well, and the scissors at the end, but I still find it hard to forgive him for still writing about Sylvia so many years later, since he factored so strongly into her decision to kill herself. (I'm not in the cult of Sylvia, per se, but it's hard to look at the story of her life and not find a bit of fault with her straying husband.)

Third Mom said...

Love all of these photos!! You have an incredibly eye - and incredible hands to with it!!

Happy spring!

Susan T. said...

Great daffodils--poetized and photographed. Fleeting, indeed!

The Cole Mine said...

Absolutely beautiful and perfect for spring! Take my breath away photos too! Thanks for sharing...

Mary Lee said...

Ahhhhh...there can never be too many daffodils, in photos or in poems. Thanks for a glimpse of our (near, I hope) future!

Mme T said...

Hughes' poetry is like watching an autopsy (in a good way). It's so biological. I read a lot of Hughes growing up in the English school system. I have never come across this one. Thanks for sharing.

Liz in Ink said...

Dang that Ted Hughes. I really almost always relish his poems even when I'm determined not to...
(LOOOOVE the photos!)

Cloudscome said...

I know... I don't usually read Hughes myself. But the language in this one just really got to me. Can't deny his poetry. Tadmack that sounds delightful even if cold!

Thanks to all of you for your kind and encouraging words.