killclaudio: (Autumn)
[personal profile] killclaudio
It's the first of September! Today is my favourite day of the year. I don't know why. It's my favourite day, dammit, I don't need a reason.

In honour of this, have a poem! Well, some of a poem. An extract from Autumn Journal by Louis MacNeice. With thanks to Rosamunde Pilcher, who first pointed out to me how wonderful MacNeice is.

September has come, it is hers,
Whose vitality leaps in the autumn,
Whose nature prefers
Trees without leaves and a fire in the fire-place;
So I give her this month and the next
Though the whole of my year should be hers who has rendered already
So many of its days intolerable or perplexed
But so many more so happy;
Who has left a scent on my life and left my walls
Dancing over and over with her shadow,
Whose hair is twined in all my waterfalls
And all of London littered with remembered kisses.
So I am glad
That life contains her with her moods and moments
More shifting and more transient than I had
Yet thought of as being integral to beauty;
Whose mind is like the wind on a sea of wheat,
Whose eyes are candour,
And assurance in her feet,
Like a homing pigeon never by doubt diverted.
To whom I send my thanks
That the air has become shot silk, the streets are music,
And that the ranks
Of men are ranks of men, no more of cyphers.
So that if now alone
I must pursue this life, it will not be only
A drag from numbered stone to numbered stone
But a ladder of angels, river turning tidal.
Off-hand, at times hysterical, abrupt,
You are one I always shall remember,
Whom cant can never corrupt
Nor argument disinherit.
Frivolous, always in a hurry, forgetting the address,
Frowning too often, taking enormous notice
Of hats and backchat - how could I assess
The thing that makes you different?
You whom I remember glad or tired,
Smiling in drink or scintillating anger,
Inopportunely desired
On boats, on trains, on roads when walking.
Sometimes untidy, often elegant,
So easily hurt, so readily responsive,
To whom a trifle could be an irritant
Or could be balm and manna.
Whose words would tumble over each other and pelt
From pure excitement,
Whose fingers curl and melt
When you were friendly.
I shall remember you in bed with bright
Eyes or in a cafe stirring coffee
Abstractedly and on your plate the white
Smoking stub your lips had touched with crimson.
And I shall remember how your words could hurt
Because they were so honest
And even your lies were able to assert
Integrity of purpose.

There's also a poem I've been trying to find by MacNeice, about music and memory. It goes something like;

The same tunes hang on pegs in the cloakrooms of our minds
As fitted us ten or twenty or thirty years ago
On occasions of love or grief.


That's about all I can remember, although the ending went something like

Each tune, each cloak, if matched to weather and mood
Wears well, and off-the-peg means made-to-measure now.


I used to have a copy, but I think it's in one of the books I left at my parents' house. If anyone remembers the poem or knows where I can find it, I'd be eternally grateful. *bats eyelashes*
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killclaudio

June 2008

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