Saturday, February 7, 2009

hope is the thing with feathers, indeed

A friend reminded me today of a poem, by thomas hardy, that I had forgotten but do especially love. It was perfect timing to re-read this certain poem because it has been most unsensationally bleak and dreary outside, and it has caused me a bit of mourning for seasons of warmth and life. Winter has always left me with the feeling of entrapment; I am stuck inside and thus I feel as if I am not progressing/becoming complacent because I am not running around with busyness (to me, busy = movement, moving forward, moving towards a goal, etc). I HATE those sentiments; they leave a sense of hopelessness in my soul. Ugh.
Nevertheless, this poem speaks of a thrush that sings out despite the settled, winter gloom that surrounds him and the poet. If the winged creature can sing and thus have something to hope in at such a time, then so can the poet, and so can I.

The Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

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