POETRY CORNER: EARTH VOICES

 

poetry_title

downloadHere is the first offering from  Book Club reader Patricia.

It’s called Earth Voices.

A quick search reveals that William Bliss Harman (his full name) was a Canadian poet (!)

“(…) who lived most of his life in the United States, where he achieved international fame. He was acclaimed as Canada’s poet laureate during his later years.

In Canada Carman is classed as one of the Confederation Poets, a group which also included Charles G.D. Roberts (his cousin), and Duncan Campbell Scott. Of the group, Carman had the surest lyric touch and achieved the widest international recognition. But unlike others, he never attempted to secure his income by novel writing, popular journalism, or non-literary employment. He remained a poet, supplementing his art with critical commentaries on literary ideas, philosophy, and aesthetics.”

EARTH VOICES

by: Bliss Carman (1861-1929)

I heard the spring wind whisper

Above the brushwood fire,

“The world is made forever

Of transport and desire.

 

“I am the breath of being,

The primal urge of things;

I am the whirl of star dust,

I am the lift of wings.

 

“I am the splendid impulse

That comes before the thought,

The joy and exaltation

Wherein the life is caught.

 

“Across the sleeping furrows

I call the buried seed,

And blade and bud and blossom

Awaken at my need.

 

“Within the dying ashes

I blow the sacred spark,

And make the hearts of lovers

To leap against the dark.”

 

II

 

I heard the spring light whisper

Above the dancing stream,

“The world is made forever

In likeness of a dream.

 

“I am the law of planets,

I am the guide of man;

The evening and the morning

Are fashioned to my plan.

 

“I tint the dawn with crimson,

I tinge the sea with blue;

My track is in the desert,

My trail is in the dew.

 

“I paint the hills with color,

And in my magic dome

I light the star of evening

To steer the traveller home.

 

“Within the house of being,

I feed the lamp of truth

With tales of ancient wisdom

And prophecies of youth.”

 

III

 

I heard the spring rain murmur

Above the roadside flower,

“The world is made forever

In melody and power.

 

“I keep the rhythmic measure

That marks the steps of time,

And all my toil is fashioned

To symmetry and rhyme.

 

“I plow the untilled upland,

I ripe the seeding grass,

And fill the leafy forest

With music as I pass.

 

“I hew the raw, rough granite

To loveliness of line,

And when my work is finished,

Behold, it is divine!

 

“I am the master-builder

In whom the ages trust.

I lift the lost perfection

To blossom from the dust.”

 

IV

 

Then Earth to them made answer,

As with a slow refrain

Born of the blended voices

Of wind and sun and rain,

“This is the law of being

That links the threefold chain:

The life we give to beauty

Returns to us again.”

images

 

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