Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cutting Through the Dregs...

 The dregs of winter upon us, I needed a little Hardy today. Maybe you do, too, so I share.



The Darkling Thrush
by Thomas Hardy

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.

2 comments:

  1. "Had chosen thus to fling his soul
    Upon the growing gloom"

    And sometimes, that's all that makes the difference. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. L.T.: Yes, it's all about hope, right? Not whether or not there's gloom. I hate it when people say gloom doesn't exist when it does. That's not optimism to me. Optimism is taking the hopeful risk in the face of pig poo.

    ReplyDelete

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