Monday, April 10, 2006

NPM: "Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter"

There was such speed in her little body,
And such lightness in her footfall,
It is no wonder her brown study
Astonishes us all

Her wars were bruited in our high window.
We looked among orchard trees and beyond
Where she took arms against her shadow,
Or harried unto the pond

The lazy geese, like a snow cloud
Dripping their snow on the green grass,
Tricking and stopping, sleepy and proud,
Who cried in goose, Alas,

For the tireless heart within the little
Lady with rod that made them rise
From their noon apple-dreams and scuttle
Goose-fashion under the skies!

But now go the bells, and we are ready,
In one house we are sternly stopped
To say we are vexed at her brown study,
Lying so primly propped.

~ John Crowe Ransom (1888-1974)


Anonymous Will said...

Boy, I love that poem! JC Ransom is a really wonderful poet and just seemed to flow words out in the right space.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I remember first reading this poem in Mrs. Turner's poetry class during a talk on sentimental poetry, and she gave this one as an example of a poem that avoids sentimentalizing death and has a far greater impact.

1:09 PM  

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