I can’t believe it’s Tuesday again! Another week, another poem, and this week, it is an oldie, but a goodie. Frances Cornford (1886-1960) was the daughter of botanist Francis Darwin and granddaughter of naturalist Charles Darwin, born into the Darwin-Wedgwood family. Frances wrote several books of verse - Spring Morning, Different Days, Poems, Autumn Midnight - which are illustrated with stunning woodcuts by her cousin, Gwen Raverat (talented bunch, that lot!). The Coast – Norfolk has always been one of those poems that holds a beautiful stillness, a concentration in a single act – the sweeping strokes of the scythe – that I admire immeasurably. Enjoy!
The Coast – Norfolk
As on the highway’s quiet edge
He mows the grass beside the hedge,
The old man has for company
The distant, grey, salt-smelling sea,
A poppied field, a cow and calf,
The finches on the telegraph.
Across his faded back a hone,
He slowly, slowly scythes alone
In silence of the wind-soft air,
With ladies’ bedstraw everywhere,
With whitened corn, and tarry poles,
And far-off gulls like risen souls.
This week’s hub poem has been chosen by Mary McCallum – and it is part of the collection Briefcase, by John Adams, which was winner of the Best First Book of Poetry Award. It’s a wonderful entanglement of language, so do check it out, as well as the other TP editors picks along the sidebar – there’s a huge range this week, from poems investigating space discovery, conflict, piracy, sorceresses, seabirds and more!