Friday, 15 October 2010

Time stands still.

I wrote this poem several years ago. As you must all know by now, I am besotted with the countryside. When you love it as much as I do it is very hard not to write about it in a sentimental way. In my view sentimentality has absolutely no part to play in any art form and therefore I try my level best (with varying degrees of success) to keep it out of my work. I have put a version of this poem on my blog before but I was just sorting out a file of my writing and I came across it. It seems to me to be an appropriate poem to follow yesterday's visit to the Arboretum in Autumn. I have altered it somewhat since last time.

Autumn comes to the hills.

There comes a day when
time seems to stand still.

The last few flowers on the meadow cranesbill
have turned to spiky seeds.

The tall,dry heads of the dock
line the verges like policemen.

The meadow sweet has lost its creamy smell
and turned to brittle brown.

The dying green of the trees is
changing to vivid hues.

On the hills the clouds flirt with the tops
and a faint mist marks the beck's course.

Everywhere is cool and still,
only the clear song of the robin
breaks the silence.

Then the wind rustles through the trees
and time moves on again.

Have a good weekend.

20 comments:

Peter Goulding said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Goulding said...

Don't see any overt sentimentality in this at all. Lovely images (particularly the dock policemen!) not impaired for me in the slightest by the fact that I couldn't tell a cranesbill from a bladderwort to save my life.

Hildred and Charles said...

Yes!!! Beautiful, Weaver.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

It's quite lovely, glad you shared it. I happen to like a little sentimentality but that's probably because I'm a reader of it and not a writer of it. The two eyes are often very different. I like the strong descriptiveness of "creamy smell", I know that smell.

angryparsnip said...

Gosh... I have to agree with Peter Goulding, well said.

cheers, parsnip

Derrick said...

Nicely said, Weaver. Nothing so nasty as my gourd!

Elizabeth said...

Vivid and very precise as ever.
Full of feeling but not saccherine at all.
Love all the details.

Grizz………… said...

Another excellent poem, well-phrased, descriptive, painting a fine word autumnal picture.

I would respectfully disagree with you regarding sentimentality in art, as I think it often forms the basis of some of the world's finest works. There are countless books, for example, which owe their "soul" and longevity as classics to being written from a sentimental perspective. Many painting, too, and a wealth of poetry and music.

Sappy, saccharine over-blown sentimentality, of course, is another matter entirely—but then the same can be said equally of excessive romanticism, drama, comedy, or reality reporting. But, IMHO sentimentality, per se, is a legitimate view and impetus in the creation of art.

Bovey Belle said...

That is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Tramp said...

Weaver
I am also rather surprised that you say "sentimentality has absolutely no part to play in any art form". I think we use the word sentimentality in slightly different ways. If you mean tender emotions and feelings, such as love, pity, or nostalgia then I would say that these play a part in art forms. If, on the otherhand, you mean an excess of these feelings in a kitschy way then I would agree with you.
I feel the brief pause in time as we look around and take in the state of things before the call of the robin and the wind in the trees draws us back to the reality that time marches on. It touches my feelings in a thoughtful way, but certainly not kitsch to me.
Have a good weekend too.
...Tramp

Heather said...

Very topical, very evocative and simply beautiful Pat. I didn't find it sentimental and any piece of art created with the passion of the artist for his/her subject can only be better for it.

Poet in Residence said...

I like the idea of time standing still at the start and then moving on again at the end. But my blogging time is over for today. I'll have to come back,hopefully tomorrow, for the rest.

Caroline Gill said...

You have raised a few eyebrows here, Weaver! I found the remarks made by Grizz particularly helpful.

'Sappy saccharine' aside (which to me your poem IS NOT), I think in poetry (particularly?) we write in so many voices, styles, tones and moods that most of the time, (this) art has a broad compass.

Favourite poets like Edward Thomas and John Clare observed the natural world in great detail (something we try to do). Other great poets poured out deep feelings for what they saw ...

The baseline for me here is that I enjoyed your colourful, seasonal poem. Thank you.

Caroline Gill said...

P.S. Forgot to add how much I love those autumn leaves on your banner!

Cloudia said...

You well capture that magical Autumn moment!




Warm Aloha from Waikiki

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Poet in Residence said...

I've read it again slowly aloud and with suitable pauses and I have to basically agree with Grizz. I don't think it's overly sentimental at all. In fact it's quite lovely.

Kayla coo said...

Your words are like a painting to me, beautiful.x

Golden West said...

I have to disagree with you about sentimentality in art - I love it! I guess it comes down to one's definition of "sentiment". I take it to mean tenderness, emotion and feeling, not treacle. All my favorite works in music, film, print and paint evoke sentiment in me and I'm thankful for that.

HKatz said...

The meadow sweet has lost its creamy smell
and turned to brittle brown.


I like the imagery in the poem generally, but especially in these lines - a creamy smell: what a wonderful blend of the senses!

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

I have finally found your blog.. been meaning to have a troll through it after I saw your title a while ago
I was intrigued with its title
where did your get it from?