Friday, August 10, 2012

Poetry Friday--Poetry In Unexpected Places

Don't you love coming upon a line of poetry in spray paint on an underpass? Or seeing a short poem on a subway? Part of the delight is in the unexpectedness.

I've posted before on the topic on my library blog, Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet, you can revisit the 2009 post here where you'll find mention of poetry in public toilets among other places!

In that post I didn't mention graveyards! Often a verse will be carved at the bottom of an old headstone. Sometimes you have to get right down on all fours to read it, but it's worth the resultant dirty knees. Here in New England where we have centuries' old graveyards, it may be easier to find snippets of poetry, but no matter where you live enjoy a stroll through an old graveyard, if for nothing else but to relax in the peace of the place.

Here's a poem by Aphra Behn, who lived during the 1600s:

Epitaph on the Tombstone of a Child, the Last of Seven that Died Before

This Little, Silent, Gloomy Monument,
Contains all that was sweet and innocent;
The softest pratler that e'er found a Tongue,
His Voice was Musick and his Words a Song;
Which now each List'ning Angel smiling hears,
Such pretty Harmonies compose the Spheres;
Wanton as unfledg'd Cupids, ere their Charms
Has learn'd the little arts of doing harms;
Fair as young Cherubins, as soft and kind,
And tho translated could not be refin'd;
The Seventh dear pledge the Nuptial Joys had given,
Toil'd here on Earth, retir'd to rest in Heaven;
Where they the shining Host of Angels fill,
Spread their gay wings before the Throne, and smile.

I hope, dear reader, that you don't think me morbid. I find poems on gravestones to be a sign of a great love for the departed left for all of us to enjoy.

Today's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at Violet Nesdoly / poems.

Photo by danmachold.


Irene Latham said...

I agree: if there must be a tombstone, put poetry on it. I also love poetry in unexpected places! It makes me want to make that happen somewhere. Hmmm...

Mur said...

"I find poems on gravestones to be a sign of a great love for the departed left for all of us to enjoy."

I agree, Diane. Great choices.

Mary Lee said...

I agree -- lots of love in those lines!

Ruth said...

Yes to the unexpected poetry.

Violet N. said...

Isn't that heartbreaking: "the last of seven that died before"? I'm sure writing that poem gave the mom or dad, or whoever wrote it, a sense of doing something for this little one they would never get to know (as well as comforting them in some small way).

And you've given me another reason to always carry a notebook (or camera): to collect those unexpected poems.

Diane Mayr said...

One of the reasons I like to wander through graveyards is to stimulate my imagination. If you just read the dates of the departed, you start wondering why two siblings passed within days of each other? Or how Mr. X found someone to marry him after he had already buried two other wives?