Thursday, 11 August 2011

"O heart, I do not dare go empty-hearted"

Today I'm in the mood for a random Rupert Brooke poem. This is called 'The Busy Heart'. He was good at list poems (as in this lovely poem) - who was it who said that "the greatest of poems is an inventory"? Chesterton, I think, though I can't remember in what connection. Rupert Brooke and various jazz songs convinced me that he was on to something.

The Busy Heart

Now that we've done our best and worst, and parted,
I would fill my mind with thoughts that will not rend.
(O heart, I do not dare go empty-hearted)
I'll think of Love in books, Love without end;
Women with child, content; and old men sleeping;
And wet strong ploughlands, scarred for certain grain;
And babes that weep, and so forget their weeping;
And the young heavens, forgetful after rain;
And evening hush, broken by homing wings;
And Song's nobility, and Wisdom holy,
That live, we dead. I would think of a thousand things,
Lovely and durable, and taste them slowly,
One after one, like tasting a sweet food.
I have need to busy my heart with quietude.

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