Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You Come Too: Lessons from Poetry

To the Cuckoo

O blithe newcomer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice:
O Cuckoo! shall I call thee bird,
Or but a wandering Voice?

While I am lying on the grass
Thy twofold shout I hear;
From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off and near.

Though babbling only to the vale
Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.

Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery;

The same whom in my schoolboy days
I listened to; that Cry
Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.

To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still longed for, never seen!

And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.

O blessed birth! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, fairy place,
That is fit home for Thee!

~ William Wordsworth

"Thou bringest unto me a tale / Of visionary hours." Wordsworth writes this of the cuckoo's call, yet he is doing the very same thing through his poem.

The whole poem is a tale of vision, bringing the reader's mind up and into the light. Wordsworth's poem gives one's mind the wings to flit through the air and momentarily forget any troubles that might be weighing him to the ground. "And I can listen to thee yet; / Can lie upon the plain / And listen, till I do beget / That golden time again."

This aspect of 'transportation' in poetry is precisely why one should read it. Poetry - indeed, good literature as well - has the ability to bring one out of one's self to think and feel things that ordinary life may not have yet taught him. I find that I learn much about the wide world, about good character, about hope, about sorrow, about love, about death, about Life woven through the lines of poetry and prose. You may do the same, 'You come too.' *

~ Johanna

*The Pasture, by Robert Frost


  1. I enjoyed this one, as well as the commentary! Thanks for posting! =)

  2. Glad you liked it! I found this one when I was reading "On the Origin of Beauty" by Gerard Manley Hopkins (you can find it here if you wish: http://www.log24.com/log/saved/HopkinsOnBeauty.html).

  3. Wow...that was nice little interlude in my day. Thanks for sharing that bit of refreshment!