Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wind and water, foam and wave

I would just like to take this opportunity to mention how very happy I am about the weather. It feels to me as though a corner has been turned -- a bridge has been crossed. And this might not be true, alas -- Auntie Cousin did give me a self-important warning about how much hot weather we are still sure to have in store -- but it certainly FEELS that way!

Monday morning, I woke up to a thick soft grey cloud cover and tiny delicate rain drops that barely registered on the windshield. Tuesday, there were actually puddles on the street, and the cars made that driving-on-wet-pavement sound -- shussh, shussh. This morning, though, there is all the evidence of a wild and windy night -- a western wind! The bird feeder was blown down, and the tall circle of iris stalks was blown down flat and there are quite a few leaves on the ground.

You know, I wrote several poems about the wind, back in the day when I wrote poetry, particularly one that I remember well, about the wind from the sea, but the ones that keep going through my head over and over again are neither of them mine. Nor do I remember who wrote them. Who, for example, wrote this? **

"Wind from the sea!
O wind from the sea!
Blow lustily,
Over the sea!
With thy blast of thunder,
O tear me asunder,
Annihilate me!
And scatter my dust,
My mud and my rust,
Blind and a-blunder..."

and it ended -

"O wind! O water! No death! No grave!"

Pretty intoxicating for a ten-year-old.

Reminds me that when I was doing all this poetry writing, I was confused about the direction that wind goes -- I mean, do you call a wind the west wind if it is blowing out of the west, or towards the west? (Yes, I do know now!) But at the time it seemed very difficult to know (couldn't just go and ask someone!) and so I avoided my question by referring to the sea a lot, just as this poem does.

In any case, it gives me an overall, underlying sensation of settled, world-without-end happiness, a subterranean joy that flickers away, even as I drive the car, file the paperwork, answer the phone, wash the dishes. This is me! This is who I am! I am, apparently, as my mother was always telling me worriedly that I wasn't, but clearly I am, the merest weather-dominated animal. Wind + Rain = Elisabeth's Happiness.

** Wow, I looked for a long time (online, of course) for any bit of that quoted chunk of poetry, and could not find it. And then when I finally remembered this at home, and took down the book of poetry I thought it was in (turned out not to be, but it was in the second book! A Louis Untermayer collection from Calvert School) I found it. Her name is Irene Rutherford McLeod, and she was A.A. Milne's sister-in-law, and Christopher Robin's mother-in-law! These English people, always marrying their cousins!

Interesting, too, to realize that just because this is her poem that mattered most to ME, does not mean that it mattered most to anyone else! Hence its lack of appearance online. In fact, even with her name added, that poem does not arise. I guess it's just you and me, Louis!

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