If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

New to me

Having done an English degree, and taught the subject for nearly 20 years, I ought to know most of the commoner poems that do the rounds. And yet the delight of poetry is there is always one you haven't seen before, one that makes you smile, or think, or weep. Looking for something completely different, I came across this one today. Thinking of Pope's "what oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed", I thought I would put this on here as a message to someone (I know she reads the blog) who has been through some tough times lately. She knows who she is.

The Confirmation

Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face,
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveller finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.

Edwin Muir


  1. I don't usually do poetry. The way the luvvies usually read them on the radio with all the Ts and Cs at the ends of words over articulated and spitty - makes me want to smack the radio. But I read Mr Muir's Confirmation and it got to me. Good find.

  2. I see I shall have to post some more poetry for poetry-haters. I have a few up my sleeve ...

    Glad you liked this one. It sort of hits the spot.

  3. endemoniada_8828 July 2009 at 23:53

    Likewise, I'm not an enormous lover of poetry, mostly what I do like has been picked up from quotes in novels. I did discover that, apart from the likes of Eliot and Yeats, the imagery of a lot of the 20th century Russian poets - particularly Akhmatova - appealed to me. Which probably makes me a bit of a gloomy individual...

    In general, I'd rather have poetic lyrics than actual poetry, but please feel free to convince me otherwise!

  4. I'll try! Keep watching. :)


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