Friday, July 27, 2007

Poetry Friday 60

With large chunks of Oxfordshire (including the area around the station) and Gloucestershire (my parents' home county) under water this week, I thought this poem by John Clare was appropriate:

The Flood

On Lolham Brigs in wild and lonely mood
I've seen the winter floods their gambols play
Through each old arch that trembled while I stood
Bent o'er its wall to watch the dashing spray
As their old stations would be washed away
Crash came the ice against the jambs and then
A shudder jarred the arches - yet once more
It breasted raving waves and stood agen
To wait the shock as stubborn as before
- White foam brown crested with the russet soil
As washed from new plough lands would dart beneath
Then round and round a thousand eddies boil
On tother side - then pause as if for breath
One minute - and engulphed - like life in death

Whose wrecky stains dart on the floods away
More swift than shadows in a stormy day
Straws trail and turn and steady - all in vain
The engulfing arches shoot them quickly through
The feather dances flutters and again
Darts through the deepest dangers still afloat
Seeming as faireys whisked it from the view
And danced it o'er the waves as pleasures boat
Light hearted as a thought in May -
Trays - uptorn bushes - fence demolished rails
Loaded with weeds in sluggish motions stray
Like water monsters lost each winds and trails
Till near the arches - then as in affright
It plunges - reels - and shudders out of sight

Waves trough - rebound - and fury boil again
Like plunging monsters rising underneath
Who at the top curl up a shaggy main
A moment catching at a surer breath
Then plunging headlong down and down - and on
Each following boil the shadow of the last
And other monsters rise when those are gone
Crest their fringed waves - plunge onward and are past
- The chill air comes around me ocean blea
From bank to bank the waterstrife is spread
Strange birds like snow spots o'er the huzzing sea
Hang where the wild duck hurried past and fled
On roars the flood - all restless to be free
Like trouble wandering to eternity

So far I've been unaffected by the flooding, but my parents and brother are without mains water and have been for two days - although there's no flooding in their area - we believe, but haven't been able to find out for sure - that the water company, in its infinite wisdom, have diverted water from their area to one of the flood-affected areas - which makes perfect sense (or not!)

My annoyance over this is made greater by the fact that the Government, in its infinite wisdom, allows planning permission to be given for building on flood plains. They're called "flood plains" for a REASON you know !!

This week's Poetry Friday round up is hosted by Jone, aka Ms Mac, over at Check it Out so be sure to - check it out!


Andromeda Jazmon said...

Sorry to hear about the flooding. I have had my home flooded out too and know how hard that is. This is a wonderful poem bringing back the experience for me. Hope everything is ok for you.

Michele said...

I'm good, as they say - just fed up on behalf of others... Sorry to hear you've been flooded out - must be an absolute nightmare !

This is a gorgeous poem though, isn't it ?

Camille said...

You find the best poetry, Michele. Seems like it is always fits the day/time/event--exactement!

Michele said...

Thank you...

I've missed it this week - too busy trying to do six different things at once yesterday evening and I ran out of time...