Friday, April 9, 2010

night meeting

to read this poem is to watch a film.
a rich, luxurious, romantic film.

the heart that beats fast

short hurried breaths

wide eyes

the deep grass of the fields
brushing against arms
and legs

the stone walled farmhouse
dark brown and muted grey
rises from the moorland

broken only by the wind
and then

a gentle tapping at the window

the match scrape
the muted flicker
of a candle
through old rippled glass windows

i see and feel it all
here 'tis


meeting at night
the grey sea and the long black land;
and the yellow half-moon large and low;
and the startled little waves that leap
in fiery ringlets from their sleep,
as i gain the cove with pushing prow,
and quench its speed i' the slushy sand.

then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
three fields to cross till a farm appears;
a tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
and blue spurt of a lighted match,
and a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
than the two hearts beating each to each!

here’s the author robert browning
- a dapper dude -

someone who knew love.


Elisabeth said...

Thanks for the Robert Browning, Steven. He's the poet who introduced me as a sixteen year old school girl in a small sequestered convent schol to Fra Lippo Lippi.

'I am Fra Lippo Lippi by your leave', the brother who is halted in his tracks en route to visit a prostitute.

It wasn't easy for the nuns to help us to think about this poem, with its reflections on celibacy.

My first remembered foray into the wonderful world of poetry where the unspoken could be spoken.

And the nuns did blush.

steven said...

elisabeth - firsts are intriguing to me if you think of the nature of your meeting the experience and then also of why that particular experience at that particular time in that particular place. there's an availability on your part to the experience and then also an availability on the part of the experience to you. your story must have been a transformative moment for you. have a peaceful day. steven

willow said...

Reading this piece is much like watching a luscious film, Steven. And my heart is beating a bit faster seeing this wonderful photo of Browning!

Helen said...

Seductive writing ~~~ I want to be the woman waiting in the stone walled farmhouse .......

Reya Mellicker said...


Dan Gurney said...

steven, I am glad you are my poetry teacher. Your introduction to this poem really opened it up for me. I wouldn't have really "seen" the poem without the introduction you provided. So thank, you, steven. I hope you'll do more of these posts. I saw the movie you said was there.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...


BT said...

I was there too, I don't know why but it reminded me of Wuthering Heights, Cathy waiting for Heathcliff. Beautiful.