Poet and essayist Dawn Potter founded this archive as a way to organize her commentary on Milly Jourdain's poetry, which, at the suggestion of biographer Hilary Spurling, she is gradually reprinting online. If you have more information about Milly Jourdain's life or work, please be in touch.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
First published on August 6, 2009
Why do I feel compelled to mow all the grass (and there is a lot of grass, and all I have is a push mower) before going away for the weekend . . . meaning that I won't even be here to look at the result, which is not much of a lawn anyway but more of a shortish patchy meadow interrupted by gardens?
The gardens, however, are somewhat more fruitful than I expected, given our horrible summer. The red potatoes are late yet mysteriously perfect: not a scab on them. The carrots are strong and straight, despite my stony soil; and the green beans are weighing down the vines. But no tomatoes, no cucumbers. Alas, no gazpacho.
Because I ought to stop wasting time with this writing stuff and go feed goats and make bread, I will give you a Milly poem.
The starlings clustered on the trees
Are gurgling in the rain;
From garden beds the white snow slips,
Leaving them bare again.
When shines the sun upon the earth,
And spring is everywhere;
Like Paradise, the apple trees
Are fresh and scent the air.
The spring will come to this gray town,
That stretches to the brink
Of rivers where the trees grow green
And almonds flush with pink.
A wish is mine, so fierce and vain,
A sudden wish to run
Where thrushes sing, and near the hedge
Are celandines in the sun.
To me, this poem is not one of her better efforts. Not only does it lean clumsily on its rhyme scheme, but it's also far more sentimental than her poems usually are. But maybe you like it and can show me why.