Saturday, July 25, 2009

Waiting for 2010 #72: "When First I Came Here" by Edward Thomas #LibriVox

When First I Came Here - Read By Rd by Edward Thomas  
Download now or listen on posterous
whenfirsticamehere_thomas_rd.mp3 (1456 KB)

Today's special blog entry has been redundantly posted at both Posterous and Blogger, as well as ridiculously linked to at both Facebook and Twitter.

I'd like to dedicate this poem, which is in the public domain, to my friends who recently gave birth or are expecting to do so in the near future.  The poem is "When First I Came Here" by Edward Thomas, read for LibriVox.org by yours truly:

When first I came here I had hope,
Hope for I knew not what. Fast beat
My heart at the sight of the tall slope
Or grass and yews, as if my feet

Only by scaling its steps of chalk
Would see something no other hill
Ever disclosed. And now I walk
Down it the last time. Never will

My heart beat so again at sight
Of any hill although as fair
And loftier. For infinite
The change, late unperceived, this year,

The twelfth, suddenly, shows me plain.
Hope now,--not health nor cheerfulness,
Since they can come and go again,
As often one brief hour witnesses,--

Just hope has gone forever. Perhaps
I may love other hills yet more
Than this: the future and the maps
Hide something I was waiting for.

One thing I know, that love with chance
And use and time and necessity
Will grow, and louder the heart's dance
At parting than at meeting be.


When interpreting the written word, especially poetry, I either over-think or under-think the author's intended meaning and usually create my own (inaccurate) interpretation.  That's art for you.  The content of the poem probably deals with life issues, but I doubt it has to do with the joy of welcoming life (even though - earlier in this post - I dedicated my reading to my friends who are new or expecting parents).  Some (most [all]) of the lines are pretty heavy.  In any case, I just felt that the first line "When first I came here..." was somewhat relevant.

My recording of the poem is also in the public domain.  It will be a part of this week's LibriVox Weekly Poetry, where several volunteer readers read the same poem, and this collection will be "published" together (hosted) at Archive.org and catalogued at LibriVox.

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