Thursday, 25 April 2013

Poetry Reads: A Song of Enchantment by Walter de la Mare

This poem by Walter de la Mare (April 25, 1873 – June 22, 1956) is about the remembrance of a time and place gone by. It is also about the inheritance of memory. He aptly emphasized that imagination for writing had two important aspects: the childlike and the boy like. He had commented that children ‘are
not so closely confined and bound in by their groping senses. Facts to them are the liveliest of chameleons. ... They are contemplatives, solitaries, fakirs, who sink again and again out of the noise and fever of existence and into a waking vision’. Similarly, in this poem too, there is a transition from the uninhibited remembrance of a place to descriptions that are limited post boyhood.

The descriptions of the place in the various stanzas are indeed of one which is a place of enchantment. Although it is seemingly beautiful and lucid, it is also deeply psychological.

A Song of Enchantment 
by Walter de la Mare

A song of Enchantment I sang me there,
In a green-green wood, by waters fair,
Just as the words came up to me
I sang it under the wild wood tree.

Widdershins turned I, singing it low,
Watching the wild birds come and go;
No cloud in the deep dark blue to be seen
Under the thick-thatched branches green.

Twilight came: silence came:
The planet of Evening's silver flame;
By darkening paths I wandered through
Thickets trembling with drops of dew.

But the music is lost and the words are gone
Of the song I sang as I sat alone,
Ages and ages have fallen on me -
On the wood and the pool and the elder tree.


(Article by Kabita Sonowal)

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