Some photographs I have taken around and about this week. It’s spring. Sometimes you have to focus on why you fight; because you love what is behind you, not hate what is before you. 

Home-Thoughts, From Abroad

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bentspray’s edge –
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower
– Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

by Robert Browning


My English teacher said you could tell a lot about a book by its opening sentence. She opened 1984.

“It was a cold day in April and the clocks were striking 13”. 

This world is strange – our clocks don’t strike past 12. But in this world they use the continental 24 hour clock. It’s cold, as spring can be. The atmosphere of strangeness and hardship is set.


” Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licóur 
Of which vertú engendred is the flour; ….

Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, 
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, 
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londe And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende
The hooly blisful martir for to seke
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke

Its a long sentence which I have truncated. But teenage girls read Chaucer in the original Middle English in those days and the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales is a much more cheerful opening. It’s spring, the weather is improving, lets go on a journey! New places, interesting people, we’ll start at the pub.

One Response

  1. I like the Robert Browning poem, but only Robin Hood could really appreciate Chaucer. It’s spring here in Charleston, and it’s already getting hot. The cardinals and pelicans have invaded, and the flowers are blooming. I was pleased to learn that the opossum that hangs around the house likes to eat cockroaches.

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