Artist

Alexander Averin

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Jewels


Dear Diary,


She came with her cushion
to the cliffs. She sat
strained in the wind
in a pink old-fashioned hat.

Alice Oswald



What have you found today?

So far I have found sunshine even though it is still very cold outside and there is such a cruel and biting wind but I have tasted the sweetness that is warm friendship which is a blessing in itself. I even found it in the early hours when I logged on to Purplecoo - there are usually folk around to chat to on there when one is suffering from insomnia. Some members are from across the globe and I had a wee chat with a few online friends and even learned that New York was snow-covered and also heard some nice soothing music which was just what I needed.

Who was the writer who said friends are the jewels I keep inside my head? I heard these lines on the radio recently, it may have been on Poetry Please on dear old Radio 4. That radio station is like a true friend don’t you think? I can’t imagine life without it. As someone said to me recently they could live with out TV but they couldn’t cope without the radio. I agreed. Then this morning I heard by email from another dear friend and also from my sister and then I spoke to my daughter on the phone. Small things make such a difference.

But there is another find and it still only mid-morning! I am so pleased to have found this new poem. I borrowed the book from the library because I always check out all their new poetry acquisitions and I pounced on this one as Alice Oswald is one of my favourite poets. It is a beautiful book.

Weeds and Wild Flowers
Poems by Alice Oswald
Etchings by Jessica Greenman.

Thrift is one of my much-loved plants, I love its shade of dusky pink and its air of sweet delicacy but also admire its toughness and persistence; its habit of flourishing in the most dry and unpromising situations.


Thrift


Born by the sea.
Used to its no-hope moan.
Forty or thereabouts.
Lived on her own.

Heaved a small sigh.
With a handful of stone
to get started,
she saved up for the rain.

She came with her cushion
to the cliffs. She sat
strained in the wind
in a pink old-fashioned hat.

No prospect
but the plunge of the beach.
All except nodding,
no speech.

But she worked she worked
to the factory rhythm
of the sea’s boredom.
Its bouts of atheism.

And by the weekend
set up a stall
of paper flowers.
And sold them all.

So she made substance out of
lack of substance.
Hard of hearing,
She thrived on silence.

Alice Oswald

Do you ever read a poem or a piece of prose and the words strike such a cord that you think Oh I wish I had written that, do you ever feel that those words were within you somewhere and that someone else has somehow resurrected them? Could it be linked to the idea of there being a Universal Consciousness? I think it might. Do you even understand what I am trying to say, probably not as I am not explaining myself very well.

I am only half way through the book so there are sure to be more gems within it; the etchings are pretty too, I am fan of etchings.

That’s all so far, I shall return to you if more bounty is uncovered as the day passes.

I hope you find some pieces of treasure today, do let me know if you do.

Take care,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,
Cait.

18 comments:

Frances said...

Good morning Cait.

This post of yours is such a gift on a very snowy day in New York. The blizzard is arriving in stages, so the true drama is yet to land.

I agree with you about the universal consciousness. I also agree about the beauty of that poem and etchings. (Long ago I learned a bit about how to make etchings, and hope to return to that pursuit this side of that other universal consciousness!)

Please let me know the publisher of that poetry book. I'd like to try to persuade my library to order it. xo

Faith said...

I do know what you mean Cait - many many times I feel things - places, words, people - somehow belong to me, though of course they don't. It's strange you should write about thrift - only yesterday I kept thinking how thrifty is such an old fashioned word nowadays. Not that that's got anything to do with the plant of course. My jewel at the moment is my amber glowing coal fire!

elizabethm said...

Wonderful poem Cait and yes, I do know what you mean I think.

Pam said...

Hi Cait.I enjoyed the poem. My found treasure today, was a newly opened rose - only a bud yesterday, and in the softest pink.

Tattie Weasle said...

Treasure somes in many guises friends of course beyond value. Today for me my treasure has to be six newly laid eggs...

Posie Rosie said...

Beautiful words as ever Cait. I too love thrift it covers the rocks on the shore line here...now I am off to listen to that lovely music selection again as I paint, Posie x

Posie Rosie said...

Beautiful words as ever Cait. I too love thrift it covers the rocks on the shore line here...now I am off to listen to that lovely music selection again as I paint, Posie x

Marcheline said...

"Do you ever read a poem or a piece of prose and the words strike such a cord that you think Oh I wish I had written that?"

Yes. Anything written by Shakespeare.

Marcheline said...

"But I have that within which passeth show;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe." - W.S.

Cottage Garden said...

I couldn't live without R4 either Cait - I have the radio on all day while I'm working!

The book and the poems are lovely. I must seek out more of her poetry.

"I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams." I would like to have written those words (sigh)

Jeanne x

TOM FOOLERY said...

Accept the things to which fate binds you. And love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart. Marcus Aurelius

Pondside said...

Ah, Cait, I know just what you're saying. Sometimes I wish I'd written 'it' but most of the times I'm deeply satisfied by the feeling of recognition that comes over me when I read something that is do close to me or my experience.

ds said...

Yes, Cait, I think I do understand that feeling; it is an odd one, both thrilling (yes, someone knows what I mean) and scary (but how did they know it)? Anyway, thank you for the beautiful poem. I shall look for Alice Oswald.

CAMILLA said...

Dear Cait,

Oh what a really lovely Poem, had not come across the Poet Alice Oswald before, another one for me to reserve at our local Library.

Wonderful when you read a line to a story, a poem, and it makes such a lasting impression on one's mind, makes you stop and think..... how I would love to write so good.

Thank you for sharing with us Cait.

xx

Irish Eyes said...

Glorious as ever.
Just to make you jealous, am off to Tralee in March...if that doesn't kickstart my muse back into touch again, what will I woefully ask myself.

This is a blog to read and re-read and re-re-read!

Thank you!

Marcheline said...

Cait, come 'round my blog today if you can. In need of some advice am I.

Cheers,
M

Fire Byrd said...

I love the idea of Jung's collective unconscious.It works for me time and time again, but never in relation to poetry.
I never tire of Robert Frost's poem The Road not Taken I use it at work a lot as a way of showing there is a different path and it will be okay if taken.

blodyn said...

Thank you very much for your lovely blog which I keep on my favourites because I find it uplifting. Believe me a depressive needs uplifting.
I enjoy the paintings of Paul O Henry and the references to John O'Donohue & Alice Oswald poem. She has another one called "Mountains" I think, which is very good too.