Waiting for 2010 #72: "When First I Came Here" by Edward Thomas #LibriVox

When First I Came Here – Read By Rd by Edward Thomas
Listen on Posterous

Today's special blog entry has been redundantly posted at both Posterous and Blogger, as well as ridiculously linked to at both Facebook and Twitter.

I'd like to dedicate this poem, which is in the public domain, to my friends who recently gave birth or are expecting to do so in the near future.  The poem is "When First I Came Here" by Edward Thomas, read for LibriVox.org by yours truly:

When first I came here I had hope,

Hope for I knew not what. Fast beat

My heart at the sight of the tall slope

Or grass and yews, as if my feet

Only by scaling its steps of chalk

Would see something no other hill

Ever disclosed. And now I walk

Down it the last time. Never will

My heart beat so again at sight

Of any hill although as fair

And loftier. For infinite

The change, late unperceived, this year,

The twelfth, suddenly, shows me plain.

Hope now,–not health nor cheerfulness,

Since they can come and go again,

As often one brief hour witnesses,–

Just hope has gone forever. Perhaps

I may love other hills yet more

Than this: the future and the maps

Hide something I was waiting for.

One thing I know, that love with chance

And use and time and necessity

Will grow, and louder the heart's dance

At parting than at meeting be.

When interpreting the written word, especially poetry, I either over-think or under-think the author's intended meaning and usually create my own (inaccurate) interpretation.  That's art for you.  The content of the poem probably deals with life issues, but I doubt it has to do with the joy of welcoming life (even though – earlier in this post – I dedicated my reading to my friends who are new or expecting parents).  Some (most [all]) of the lines are pretty heavy.  In any case, I just felt that the first line "When first I came here…" was somewhat relevant.

My recording of the poem is also in the public domain.  It will be a part of this week's LibriVox Weekly Poetry, where several volunteer readers read the same poem, and this collection will be "published" together (hosted) at Archive.org and catalogued at LibriVox.

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