Brian’s Reflection: Saturday, May 24, 2008
The stone-built villages of England.
A cathedral bottled in a pub window.
Cows dispersed across fields. Monuments to kings.
A man in a moth-eaten suit
sees a train off, heading, like everything here, for the sea,
smiles at his daughter, leaving for the East.
A whistle blows.
And the endless sky over the tiles
grows bluer as swelling birdsong fills.
And the clearer the song is heard,
the smaller the bird.
Joseph Brodsky, poet, Nobel Laureate 1987,
Poet Laureate 0f the USA 1991-2, in Russia.
Well, I’m not sure about the “clearer the song ….. smaller the bird.” My birding mentor and oldest friend Martin will tell me!! Crows are very loud - but then, is it a “song”??
I’ve sat in pubs and seen English cathedrals looming in the distance. Brodsky would notice that. I think I first saw York Minster that way, while visiting my great-aunt Cissie. And the man in the moth-eaten suit – that’s certainly a poet’s moment. I can remember visiting a friend on Vinal Haven Island in Maine, leaving on the ferry as he stood waving me off, and feeling the feeling Brodsky captures when any of us are waving off someone we love. That sense of someone going on to new things as we are left. Bittersweet.
I’ve seen clear blue “endless skies over the tiles” in many wonderful places. Makes the soul lift! Especially fine when the tiles are Tuscan red or Moroccan yellow or Greek blue!
A former parishioner wrote yesterday that on her 59th birthday she was putzing around in her garden and enjoying God’s Creation.
It’s Saturday. Forget “work”. Go putz. Feel the joy and the longing.