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Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and

fears,

To me the meanest flower that blows can

give

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for

tears.

"An ode! That an ode?" one can hear certain surprised readers exclaiming. "Why, I thought an ode was something dry or deary or too classical for ordinary, everyday understanding or pleasure! And that's delightfully good stuff."

So it is, dear friend and fellow sufferer from too common poetic misapprehension, so it is, and so are hosts of other fine "formal" poems, to say nothing of the wide range of religious poetry that need only here be sug gested, and of classic translations, ancient and modern, that need but to be known to be enjoyed.

Many a supposedly languid poetry student, induced to read poetry rightly, beginning in the right place, would find him or herself in the position of the Moliere character who

had talked prose all his life without knowing it. "Good stuff" and good reading-"just reading" as the astonished Morley critic remarked in an earlier chapter-abounds in poetry that, because of its hypothetically difficult character, comparatively seldom gets beyond the task-work of the high school senior or college freshman "specializing in English literature.”

So read, it too often takes color, chameleonlike, from its surroundings and is mentally catalogued with the unhappy "skip" books of our childhood. Read as it might and should be, formal poetry would forge important links in the pleasure armor fortifying every normal human's soul.

SPRING NIGHT

The park is filled with night and fog,
The veils are drawn about the world,
The drowsy lights along the paths
Are dim and pearled.

Gold and gleaming the empty streets, Gold and gleaming the misty lake, The mirrored lights like sunken swords, Glimmer and shake.

Oh, is it not enough to be

Here with this beauty over me?

My throat should ache with praise, and I
Should kneel in joy beneath the sky.
Oh, beauty, are you not enough?
Why am I crying after love

With youth, a singing voice and eyes
To take earth's wonder with surprise?
Why have I put off my pride,
Why am I unsatisfied,

I for whom the pensive night

Binds her cloudy hair with light,
I for whom all beauty burns
Like incense in a million urns?
Oh, beauty, are you not enough?
Why am I crying after love?

-Sara Teasdale.

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CHAPTER VI

NARRATIVE, DRAMATIC, AND DESCRIPTIVE

POETRY

ARRATIVE poetry, frequently listed among the least popular of its brethren, really is one of the most popular forms of poetic expression. It began with the earliest known races of humanity; it will continue while humanity inhabits the face of the globe.

Perennially declared dead, the narrative poem as perennially arises anew and refreshed to confound its unjust judges. From the primitive Anglo-Saxon "scop," who originated his poetic stories and songs as he delivered them, down through the professional or amateur gleeman who often repeated the story-poems of others, the ancient minstrels, the wandering ballad singers, and the medieval troubadours to such later narrative poets as Moore, Scott, Byron, Tennyson, Browning, Longfellow, Frost, Noyes, Masefield, Gibson, Howells, Lindsay, and Mas

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