Thursday, June 5, 2014

Poem of the Day: "To My Sister" by William Wordsworth, Poet of the Month

The Songs of Eretz Poem of the Day for June 4, 2014 is "To My Sister" by William Wordsworth, Poet of the Month, with apologies for the tardy posting.  Information about the Songs of Eretz Poet of the Month feature as well as a biographical essay about William Wordsworth may be found here:

To My Sister
William Wordsworth

It is the first mild day of March:
Each minute sweeter than before
The redbreast sings from the tall larch
That stands beside our door.

There is a blessing in the air,
Which seems a sense of joy to yield
To the bare trees, and mountains bare,
And grass in the green field.

My sister! ('tis a wish of mine)
Now that our morning meal is done,
Make haste, your morning task resign;
Come forth and feel the sun.

Edward will come with you—and, pray,
Put on with speed your woodland dress;
And bring no book: for this one day
We'll give to idleness.

No joyless forms shall regulate
Our living calendar:
We from to-day, my Friend, will date
The opening of the year.

Love, now a universal birth,
From heart to heart is stealing,
From earth to man, from man to earth:
—It is the hour of feeling.

One moment now may give us more
Than years of toiling reason:
Our minds shall drink at every pore
The spirit of the season.

Some silent laws our hearts will make,
Which they shall long obey:
We for the year to come may take
Our temper from to-day.

And from the blessed power that rolls
About, below, above,
We'll frame the measure of our souls:
They shall be tuned to love.

Then come, my Sister! come, I pray,
With speed put on your woodland dress;
And bring no book: for this one day
We'll give to idleness.

The poem takes the form of a traditional rhyming ballad in iambic tetrameter with the deliberate omission of a foot in the last line of each stanza.  The message here is one that in my day (I date myself, here) Ferris Bueller might have said to his girlfriend and best pal, though here the girl is his devoted sister, Dorothy, and the pal is "Edward," whom, according to the essay "Eavan Boland on William Wordsworth," refers to a child that the two were looking after at the time.  If you don't know about Mr. Bueller, get the movie and watch it.

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