Poems to be Seen and Not Just Heard ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 331

Poetry has long been one of my passions but it was only when I began reading it to my father during the last months of his life that I fully realised the extent to which some poems are so beautifully and carefully crafted that they beg to be seen, and not just heard,  for the masterpieces that they are.

Alfred Lord Tennyson’s, The Lady of Shallotwas one of Dad’s favourites and the more I read it , the more I came to love the way in which Tennyson used length of line to add extra dimensions to his work. This stanza is a dream that always has me seeing fondly-held streams and  rivers at high water:

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower’d Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

River Nore at Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny
River Nore at Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny

And what of E.E. Cummings and the way he uses spacing and parentheses to lend meaning and emphasis? The contrast between the lone i fear and the final line with words and characters cuddling as close, close can be:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

E.E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

2 thoughts on “Poems to be Seen and Not Just Heard ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 331”

    1. Sorry, pressed “Reply” too quickly! This would be one case where this particular scene was even better on TV than in the book (Megan Follows did such a wonderful job!)

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