Forest Primeval

In this the sixth in the series Sundae With Nuts, I will cover four more poets from my original alphabetical list given in the original article and found on the supplemental page by the same name.

The four poets covered here are (alphabetically).

  • John Keats,
  • Rudyard Kipling,
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and
  • Rod Mckuen

John Keats

I have referenced Keats in at least one other article here in Cor Novus, when I mentioned the timeless line from his Ode on a Grecian Urn.  You know the line.  It’s the one that goes, “‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,– that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'”  That quote is the last two lines.  The following is the first stanza.

Ode on a Grecian Urn

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,z_p43-going2
       Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
       A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape
       Of deities or mortals, or of both,
               In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
       What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
               What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

 Rudyard Kipling

Researching Kipling I realized that I don’t really like his work at all.  Thinking of what it could have been that made me think I did like him I vaguely remembered some high school sociology class or maybe it was an English course where we discussed jingoism, social Darwinism, or racial stereotypes–or maybe some combination of all three.  I reread Gunga Din and White Man’s Burden and had to struggle to do it.  So, I’m not going to recommend any of his works.  Perhaps a lesson can be gained here about 19th century attitudes and social mores.  In case you’re interested, you can follow the bio link provided above.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Longfellow was an American poet born in the early 19th century in Maine when it was still part of Massachusetts.  Longfellow is probably best known for Hiawatha.

The Song of Hiawatha

Part I: The Peace-Pipe

On the Mountains of the Prairie,lwsm_kowch_hiawatha_08_176
On the great Red Pipe-stone Quarry,
Gitche Manito, the mighty,
He the Master of Life, descending,
On the red crags of the quarry
Stood erect, and called the nations,
Called the tribes of men together.
From his footprints flowed a river,
Leaped into the light of morning,
O’er the precipice plunging downward
Gleamed like Ishkoodah, the comet.
And the Spirit, stooping earthward,
With his finger on the meadow
Traced a winding pathway for it,
Saying to it, “Run in this way!”

Witness here another perennial, if lesser known work.

Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,2013-02-08-Forest-Primeval
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.

This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman
Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers,–
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!
Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October
Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o’er the ocean
Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pre.

goldStar

 

The voice of this poetry enchants me

goldStar

Rod McKuen

Poet, Lyricist Rod McKuen recently died on January 29th, 2015–less than two months ago.  I first became familiar with McKuen back in the early 70s when he was at about the height of his popularity.  He will not be remembered much for his poetry.  He was more of a songwriter, but I bought a book or two of his poems back in the day.

As a poet, I can’t find much good to be said about him.  I liked him for his sentimentality and love “poems” back in the day when I was a middle teenager and first becoming aware of the pains and joys of love–ahh those were the days.  Thank God they’re over and yet I miss them.

I don’t think McKuen will be remembered much as a songwriter or as a poet.  He had some popularity there for a short time and even was nominated for Best Song (for Jean) at the 1969 Academy Awards.  He won it for the song at the Golden Globe Awards.  He also wrote an English adaption of a French song.  It is titled Seasons in the Sun and became a worldwide hit in 1974.  He wrote a couple or three books of poetry that were published in the late 60s and was popular mainly among young people (one of which, I was).

Here are the lyrics for Seasons in the Sun.

 Seasons in the Sun.

Goodbye to you my trusted friend seasons_in_the_sun-t2
We’ve known each other since we were nine or ten
Together we’ve climbed hills and trees
Learned of love and ABC’s
Skinned our hearts and skinned our knees

Goodbye my friend it’s hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that spring is in the air
Pretty girls are everywhere
Think of me and I’ll be there

We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun
But the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time

Goodbye Papa please pray for me
I was the black sheep of the family
You tried to teach me right from wrong
Too much wine and too much song
Wonder how I got along

Goodbye papa it’s hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that the spring is in the air
Little children everywhere
When you see them I’ll be there

We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun
But the wine and the song like the seasons have all gone
We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun
But the wine and the song like the seasons have all gone

Goodbye Michelle my little one
You gave me love and helped me find the sun
And every time that I was down
You would always come around
And get my feet back on the ground

Goodbye Michelle it’s hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that the spring is in the air
With the flowers everywhere
I wish that we could both be there

We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun
But the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time
We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun
But the wine and the song like the seasons have all gone
We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun
But the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time
We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun
But the wine and the song like the seasons have all gone

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Forest Primeval

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s