The Harpstrings of Dee

The Harpstrings of Dee

A Poem by JohnL

 

The Harpstrings of Dee
 
Here beside the Dee, separating Welsh hills and Wirral countryside
See the sparkle of air-frost spangle sparse-clad winter trees;
Skeins of geese stretch, arrow-heading across a night sky, deep and wide;
Silhouettes across a silver, misted moon, fanned by breeze
Of speeding, flight inducing power; – it is the hour
To swoop, to wade, to roost and, with homing clamour, seize
Loneliness, peace and estuary calm of places yet unspoiled,
Where rivers penetrate ancient mudflats, to meet seas
Whose crustacean life charges tidal reaches’ coils
For waders, who form no arrowheads across the moon
Or fan frosty mist-drifts in winter’s jewelled sky,
But scurry, dipping and bobbing their heads
In time with the lapping, ceaseless tune
Of breeze-riffled waters and grasses bending to the crooning wind’s cry.
Now, it is deep night, redolent with fragrances that only night brings;
All is silent, save for sounds of reeded river breathing, seething,
Humming, through detritus of an estuary’s cold-taut harp strings,
Grasses, masts, ropes and other several items of man’s leaving.
 
John L. Berry. 15th December 2008.

 

© 2008 JohnL


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JohnL
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Featured Review

I think this is one of the best of yours that I have read. I like the subject matter and the observational stance of the poem with the poet on the outside. I like the aspects of nature you focus on to build the picture and sense of place. The overall feeling is one of harmony with that place and wonder at its magic. I especially like the detail about the frosted trees as I saw such a sight a couple of weeks ago myself for the first time in my life. This is the sort of writing I aspire to do at some point. English nature observed, with us taken out of it. I find nature poetry very uplifting. This poem puts me in mind of one by Ted Hughes of ponies standing on a misty moor.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I think this is one of the best of yours that I have read. I like the subject matter and the observational stance of the poem with the poet on the outside. I like the aspects of nature you focus on to build the picture and sense of place. The overall feeling is one of harmony with that place and wonder at its magic. I especially like the detail about the frosted trees as I saw such a sight a couple of weeks ago myself for the first time in my life. This is the sort of writing I aspire to do at some point. English nature observed, with us taken out of it. I find nature poetry very uplifting. This poem puts me in mind of one by Ted Hughes of ponies standing on a misty moor.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I feel a kinship with these words. Memories of hours spent reading the words of my favorite Appalachian poets came floating back on the wings of the birds you described. It's only an ocean, right?

Lovely, lovely words.

Posted 12 Years Ago


Your description is immaculate, painting pictures perfect in perspective, weaving words with skill and obvious talent, much like a small silk Kashan carpet

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

' And now, it is deep night, redolent with the fragrances that only night brings;All is silent, save for sounds of reeded river breathing, Humming through detritus of an estuary's cold-taut harp stringsOf grasses, masts and ropes and other several items of man's leaving.'

What a beautiful description.. especially the ending, although really, there's not a line that doesn't conjur up a precise touch to a wonderful picture of the Dee estuary.

'I see the sparkle of air-frost spangling sparse-clad winter trees; Skeins of geese stretch, arrow-headed, across a night sky, deep and wide; Silhouetted across a silver, misted moon, fanned by a breezeOf speeding, flight inducing power ' - this is another area where you paint a picture with words, John.

Thank you, thank you for sharing such a clear and extraordinary picture of a scene which you appear to love.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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4 Reviews
Added on December 15, 2008
Last Updated on December 20, 2008
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Author

JohnL
JohnL

Wirral Peninsula, United Kingdom



About
I live in England, and love the English countryside, the music of Elgar and Holst which describes it so beautifully and the poetry of John Clare, the 'peasant poet' and Gerard Manley Hopkins, which d.. more..

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