Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Poetry - Marjorie Wilson

As November begins I usually find myself thinking about Remembrance Day & reading war poetry. One of my favourite anthologies is this one by Catherine Reilly. It's an omnibus volume of her two anthologies, Scars Upon My Heart (WWI) & Chaos of the Night (WWII). This poem is so poignant. I assume it's Marjorie Wilson's husband who has been killed & Tony is her son. It's from WWII although I don't know exactly when it was written.

To Tony (aged 3)
(In Memory T.P.C.W.)

Gemmed with white daisies was the great green world
Your restless feet have pressed this long day through - 
Come now and let me whisper to your dreams
A little song grown from my love for you.

There was a man once loved green fields like you,
He drew his knowledge from the wild birds' songs;
And he had praise for every beauteous thing,
And he had pity for all piteous wrongs...

A lover of earth's forests - of her hills,
And brother to her sunlight - to her rain - 
Man, with a fresh boy's wonder. He was great
With greatness all too simple to explain.

He was a dreamer and a poet, and brave
To face and hold what he alone found true.
He was a comrade of the old - a friend
To every laughing child like you.

.       .       .

And when across the peaceful English land,
Unhurt by war, the light is growing dim,
And you remember by your shadowed bed
All those - the brave - you must remember him.

And know it was for you who bear his name

And such as you that all his joy he gave - 
His love of quiet fields, his youth, his life,
To win that heritage of peace you have.