Tag Archives: the natural world

On Reading A Book About Poetic Craft

Render words
About poetic craft

Am I daft
To seek
For knowledge in a book
When I could upon nature look
And hear the birds speak?



“Rain” was written some 4 years ago and does not currently appear in any of my books. Below is a recording of me reading the poem,

“The Sigh That Heaves The Grasses” By A E Housman

The sigh that heaves the grasses
Whence thou wilt never rise
Is of the air that passes
And knows not if it sighs.

The diamond tears adorning
Thy low mound on the lea,
Those are the tears of morning,
That weeps, but not for thee.

I like the unsentimental nature of this poem. As with much of Housman’s verse, there is no sentimentality here. Some poets attribute human qualaties to the natural world. Not so Housman. In “The Sigh That Heaves The Grasses”, the forces of nature: (the air and the dew), have no awareness of themselves, nor of the dead who sleeps in the “low mound on the lea” The morning dew resembles human tears shed for the dead, but it is not (and can not) be so, for the dew is not human.

Woodland Glade

A beautiful butterfly
Flutters by
And a gentle breeze
Russles the leaves
Of fine old trees.

Where shadows dance
Couples may see,
By some lucky chance,
The otter wild and free
That dreams
In woodland streams.

Standing on the street
With dusty feet,
They gazed
At the museum of yesteryear,
While far and near
Stretched the asphalt drear.