Saturday, 23 November 2019

Saturday

Cold, dismal, grey and very wet.   That sums up today in five words.   I rarely have the central heating on all day - maybe two hours when I get up, another two early afternoon and then on again at around five for the evening.   Today I have kept it on twenty all day - it is far too horrible a day to switch it off.   Tess went out in the back garden at eight this morning for her toilet arrangements (I hope) and has not been out since.   When I open the door to suggest going out she gets back in her bed.   Both of us will have to venture out sooner or later;  I am just hoping the forecast was correct and that eventually the bad weather will drift Northwards.   In the meantime I just feel so for all those who have suffered flooding and are still in the cleaning up process (and that includes locals here from the flood on July 30th) - it is hard enough but surely made slightly more bearable if the sun is shining.

I was taken back into the past again this morning (after my post on Christmas preparations yesterday) when I read the Robert Bridges poem 'November' on Sue's post (The Cottage at the End of a Lane) - it so perfectly sums up for me what life was like in the thirties in farming country.   It is so nostalgic to look back on it and then I recall the poorly-paid farm workers out in all weathers, with sacks over their shoulders in an effort to keen dry and warm and I know we don't want those days back and thank goodness for the invention of modern farm machinery.   But I shall read the poem at next Wednesday's Poetry meeting because I love it so much.   If you go over and read it I would like to know what you make of the last two lines please.

13 comments:

solitary-cyclist said...

I went and read the Bridges poem. Wonderful. I didn't know that 'firk' meant move quickly or dance, as Sue explains. Perhaps it is the origin of the modern expression to 'firk off'?

Tom Stephenson said...

The last two lines have me stumped, Weave. I had to look up 'amoret' and found it is either a type of cloth or fabric or an obsolete word meaning amorous young girl , a wanton or a petty love affair. I haven't a clue!

Tom Stephenson said...

I suppose it could be a country word for some type of small bird, no longer used? That would explain the fluttering and fear.

Heather said...

Very damp and dismal down here but without yesterday's biting wind. I read the poem and thought it beautiful although I must confess that I didn't understand the last two lines.

Jules said...

I enjoyed reading your Christmas memories yesterday.
It's another gloomy wet day here but I've been keeping busy in the kitchen baking the Christmas cake and making the cranberry and apple sauce. X

Ruth said...

I enjoyed your Christmas memories more than I can say. I would love to hear more of your stories. One of my favorite pastimes in childhood was sitting on the linoleum floor in a kitchen warmed by a kerosene cooking stove, listening to my mother tell us about her childhood on tenant farms during the Depression. If only I'd written them all down!

The November poem is truly lovely - I had to read Sue's explanation about the last two lines. Language surely does change from generation to generation. I was thinking amorets may have been some kind of flower.

Nearby are Amish farms where the plowing, sowing, and reaping are done with horses. When I was a child I'd see the harvested corn shocks in the Amish fields, but it's a rare sight nowadays. I wonder if farming in England was anything like this:
https://derdutchman.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/corn-harvest-in-amish-country/
Shocking was done by all farmers years ago, not just by the Amish.

Sue in Suffolk said...

It's so interesting to read what other people thought about the poem and how our language changes so that we can't understand it. ( Don't know why Tom had to look up amorets as I'd already looked it up and explained it - perhaps he didn't believe me!!) I still reckon its leaves falling like love notes

Rachel Phillips said...

I think amoret was used as a bit of fancy poetic romanticism because he talking about the beauty of nature so he brought in some beauty of love, or cherubs, floating along with the birds.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

There's more to the poem than Sue included on her blog. You can find the rest of it at
https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/november-44
As the poem has been discussing wrens - and in the next part of the poem goes on to talk about linnets and twites - I would guess that the "yellow amorets" are our old friends Yellowhammers. "Birds Britannica" is usually brilliant on old names for birds and mentions that the old name for the bird was the "Amer" (so that's where yellowhammer comes from).
"Gay, familiar in fear" seems to fit the bird too.

Rambler said...

The poem is lovely - and my first thought was that the 'yellow amorets' were Yellowhammers, in fear because they were often trapped and confined to cages where they would sing for people's enjoyment. Much like canaries, I guess. What a tragic life for a wild bird, though.

Chris said...

You will certainly have an interesting discussion about the poem at your Poetry group this week!

Joanne Noragon said...

Thanks to John for more information on the birds. The only definition I could find was not pleasant.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for your replies - I think on reflection that John's yellowhammers is most likely what Bridges was meaning - it is so interesting how words disappear from our language while other words appear. I shall now go and have another look at that Bridges poem. Thanks Sue for starting the discussion.