Reviews

‘One of those rare gems that comes to the reviewer out of the blue . . . enough twists to shame a cobra . . . the story fairly rips along, defying the reader to put the book down . . . Christine Poulson should be heralded as the fine entrant to the world of crime fiction she most certainly is.’ [Stage Fright]

- WWW.CHRISHIGH.COM

‘When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d’

A week or two ago my dear friend Deb sent me this message and link:

First verse of Walt Whitman’s poem, as recited by a very old soul: http://whitmanalabama.com/verses/1. Do check it out: it’s wonderful.

Deb didn’t say what the poem was and it turned out to ‘Song of Myself.’ But the poem by Whitman that had sprung immediately to my mind was ‘When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.’

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

It was many, many years since I’d read this – perhaps not since I was an undergraduate – and I was glad to be reminded of it. There is a lilac bush down our lane that I rejoice to see every year. These poignant lines now speak to my condition.

The lilacs are not out yet, so here are some tulips and hyacinths set against the blossom on my neighbour’s plum tree. Aren’t they glorious?

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6 Comments

  1. tracybham
    March 20, 2017

    Just a very quick peek at Birmingham, Alabama, my home town, but I thank you for sharing that.

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      March 20, 2017

      That’s interesting, Tracy. I hadn’t heard of the wonderful old actress who reads ‘Song of Myself’, but I gather she was very well-known in Alabama.

      Reply
  2. Lyn
    March 21, 2017

    I love Lilacs too. I read Whitman at university & really should read him again.

    Reply
  3. moira@clothesinbooks
    March 21, 2017

    I’m never sure what to make of Whitman – some I like, and some of it I find like embarrassing undergraduate poeticals. But the lady reading was absolutely lovely. And those lilac lines were beautiful – I’m glad they brought you a little comfort. Splendid picture too.

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      March 21, 2017

      I know exactly what you mean and I suspect his influence on lesser poets was deleterious. But he could hit the jackpot. Apparently that reader (who has since died) was a very well-known actress in Alabama. She read it perfectly.

      Reply

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