May 22nd, 2010


Poet's Corner: A Hard Frost

A Hard Frost

A frost came in the night and stole my world
And left this changeling for it - a precocious
Image of spring, too brilliant to be true:
White lilac on the window-pane, each grass-blade
Furred like a catkin, maydrift loading the hedge.
The elms behind the house are elms no longer
But blossomers in crystal, stems of the mist
That hangs yet in the valley below, amorphous
As the blind tissue whence creation formed.

The sun looks out and the fields blaze with diamonds
Mockery spring, to lend this bridal gear
For a few hours to a raw country maid,
Then leave her all disconsolate with old fairings
Of aconite and snowdrop! No, not here
Amid this flounce and filigree of death
Is the real transformation scene in progress,
But deep below where frost
Worrying the stiff clods unclenches their
Grip on the seed and lets
the future breathe.

Cecil Day-Lewis CBE (1904–1972)

Hey, it's Cecil Day-Lewis's birthday! He would be 106. If he weren't, you know, dead. Incidentally, I chose this poem because it's supposed to be in the 90s tomorrow. In May! I do not approve.