Nocturne by W.H. Auden

Nocturne

Make this night loveable,
Moon, and with eye single
Looking down from up there,
Bless me, One especial
And friends everywhere.

With a cloudless brightness
Surround our absences;
Innocent be our sleeps,
Watched by great still spaces,
White hills, glittering deeps.

Parted by circumstance,
Grant each your indulgence
That we may meet in dreams
For talk, for dalliance,
By warm hearths, by cool streams.

Shine lest tonight any,
In the dark suddenly,
Wake alone in a bed
To hear his own fury
Wishing his love where dead.

~ W.H. Auden (1907-1973)

There is another poem by Auden, also called Nocturne, which I love less. I suppose I find it less relateable – oh, yes, I often wake alone in the dark, shaking my fist at loves present and past.

 

I Felt It From the First Embrace

I don’t think I’ve recovered from watching La La Land. Stop reading if you haven’t seen the film yet and are bothered by spoilers. I don’t think I’m giving anything away, but who knows what you may read between the lines.Read More »

Ordinary People

So, as I was saying in my previous post, I finally finished watching the first season of Insecure, the HBO series starring Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji.

I don’t watch much telly and don’t keep up, so I had not heard of the show. I happened upon it when googling about Nigeria: one link led to another and I suddenly found myself watching a recording of a radio interview with Yvonne Orji.

Orji is my partner Don’s surname and in the interview the radio host remarks on how it sounds like Orgy, something I’ve always laughed about.

Anyway, I looked up Insecure immediately after that, started watching the series, and binged on Season 1’s final three episodes today.

OK, if you haven’t yet watched the series and intend to, there will probably be spoilers after the ‘read more’ tag.Read More »

How Strange the Change …

It’s no wonder this song has been playing in a loop in my head.

I’m counting the days until I see my dearest one again.

Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye
Everytime we say goodbye, I die a little,
Everytime we say goodbye, I wonder why a little,
Why the Gods above me, who must be in the know.
Think so little of me, they allow you to go.
When you’re near, there’s such an air of spring about it,
I can hear a lark somewhere, begin to sing about it,
There’s no love song finer, but how strange the change from major to minor,
Everytime we say goodbye.
When you’re near, there’s such an air of spring about it,
I can hear a lark somewhere, begin to sing about it,
There’s no love song finer, but how strange the change from major to minor,
Everytime we say goodbye.

Songwriter: Cole Porter
Every Time We Say Goodbye lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

I Knew a Woman by Theodore Roethke

I Knew a Woman

 I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,

When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek).
How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin,
She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and Stand;
She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin;
I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand;
She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake,
Coming behind her for her pretty sake
(But what prodigious mowing we did make).
Love likes a gander, and adores a goose:
Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize;
She played it quick, she played it light and loose;
My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;
Her several parts could keep a pure repose,
Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose
(She moved in circles, and those circles moved).
Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:
I’m martyr to a motion not my own;
What’s freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.
But who would count eternity in days?
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:
(I measure time by how a body sways).
~ Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)