Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkeys and Poetry

No, I will not be eating one of these turkeys for Thanksgiving. They showed up in my backyard about a week ago. I counted 27 of them! They walked around and pecked the ground, exhibiting what struck me as extreme arrogance. This was their ground and they could take whatever they wanted. Then they left and have not returned. I will not be roasting any turkey. We're going the restaurant route, letting someone else do the work and the clean-up. This could also be called the lazy route.

Several days ago Kathleen Kirk invited Facebook poets to post a favorite poem, one we're thankful for. I chose Yeats' "Adam's Curse," a poem I love. Some years ago when I attended the seminar at The Frost Place, we were each asked for one of our readings to read three favorite poems by other poets. This was one of mine. Reading this in Frost's barn was a lovely experience. It's a poem I'm thankful for.

Adam's Curse

We sat together at one summer's end,
That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,
And you and I, and talked of poetry.
I said, "A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
For to articulate sweet sounds together
Is to work harder than all these, and yet
Be thought an idler by the noisy set
Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
The martyrs call the world."
                                              And thereupon
That beautiful mild woman for whose sake
There's many a one shall find out all heartache
On finding that her voice is sweet and low
Replied, "To be born woman is to know—
Although they do not talk of it at school—
That we must labour to be beautiful."
I said, "It's certain there is no fine thing
Since Adam's fall but needs much labouring.
There have been lovers who thought love should be
So much compounded of high courtesy
That they would sigh and quote with learned looks
precedents out of beautiful old books;
Yet now it seems an idle trade enough."

We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time's waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.
I had a thought for no one's but your ears:
That you were beautiful, and that I strove
To love you in the old high way of love;
That it had all seemed happy, and yet we'd grown
As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.


  1. Thank you for sharing this lovely poem.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. I so love this poem! And the marvelous and strange coincidence of the multi-turkeys!


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