Finally a name

There lives in my head, a poem I first read at school. It’s one of the few things I have perfectly memorised… Most of the things I have memorised are for practical reasons – my NI number as I knew damn well that I’d never be able to keep a single piece of paper safe for the rest of my life, so it’s probably best to stash it in my head as the odds of losing that (in a literal sense) are somewhat lower… Then I have times tables in there, the usual ones but then also the odder ones of 17x and 35x that got ingrained as a croupier. Admittedly 17x and 35x are rarely used but when they are used, it’s a blissful party trick that has shop assistants wondering what kind of weird stunt you’re pulling that adds up faster than their till…

I have no practical use for my stored poem and it’s no party trick as I’ve never recited it out loud to anyone, but it does indeed dwell in my head and when it comes back to mind, it stalls time and I drift in my thoughts and feelings flow…

It came again to mind recently. I’ve never known the name of the poet. I recall that it was inside an anthology… A white paperback… I don’t recall the name of the book, I seem to remember also inside were poems by Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath… I may be wrong… I may be merging and muddling things… It was a while ago… I half remember a poem about driving a Jaguar and the ‘wastrel elegance’. Other words from other poems drift in… Granite valentine… Plugging the four aways… Tenaments… Traceries… Not waving but drowning…

The one poem I have perfectly kept is called Spring. Short, sweet, and simple… At least at first glance but I guess far less than simple for it to have burrowed and stayed for so long… The words were:

For I have seen honeysuckle twine the moss green ribcage of a fawn.

I’ve looked many times to find that poem again and to put a name to it… My Web searches have always turned up blank and I sometimes wonder if I imagined it or bastardised it beyond recognition… But today, I search and I scroll down the list and see the familiar words alongside a comment that it’s almost impossible to find this poem…

I click… Could it be? Yes! It is! And I’ve remembered it precisely! I’m not insane after all (well… I am… But hey ho). At last I have a name but even better I find another poem by the same poet

16 thoughts on “Finally a name

  1. I’ve heard that one. It feels like Victor Hugo or Tennyson… hmmmm. I’ll keep the word-worm in my ear. Plus, try the other spelling of fawn, ‘faun.’ I think in 17c, 19c and early 20c there may have been a printing error with fawn and turned a lot of people onto a mistaken spelling that stuck. Not sure on that, as I can;t remember were I read that, either. 🙂

    Though, ‘The Field’ by WIlliam Heyen is different than your:
    For I have seen honeysuckle twine the moss green ribcage of a fawn.
    For I have seen honeysuckle twine the moss green ribcage of a faun.

    Now, hmmm. Whatcha doin’, Willis? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tennyson? Odd choice… We did Charge of the Light Brigade and Lady of Shallot… I equate Tennyson with wordy lengths… I’m not overly convinced it was Heyen as now I think more on it, I’m inclined to think that I confused Sylvia Plath for Stevie Smith and the book was an anthology of English contemporary verse… I also have a feeling I have to book buried somewhere in my house, but I’m in no mood to turn everything upside down and then not find it anyway…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmm… I think you’re a little off there. I’m fairly certain Moses had 2 tablets… I’m sure I read somewhere:
        11 Thou shalt not repeat the Oracle of Google.

        Liked by 1 person

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