“And traveller’s joy beguiles in autumn
Hearts that have lost their own”.
A. E. Housman ~ Tell me not here – It needs not saying
wild clematis is feathering the hedgerows still yards of parachute silken seedheads whitening winter before snowfall it gladdens the hearts of travellers they say* those who tread tarmac, the homeward homeless your dying has changed all direction and I'm struggling to my feet - again
*Clematis vitalba – wild clematis with many local names including traveller’s joy, old man’s beard and hedge feathers
A personally apposite and timely prompt from De for this week’s quadrille: Change
41 thoughts on “Transformation”
Heavens. This line is stunning:
“your dying has changed all direction”
I am so captivated by that. What it might mean. What it must mean. Those last two lines together are just wonderful.
On a personal note it is quite literal – see Dedication but it evokes the destabilising effect that change can have – winding us, knocking us down etc Anyway I loved your prompt!
Beautiful. Loved all the language in the first stanza, especially “whitening winter before snowfall”. Gorgeous. And “the homeward homeless” is excellent.
Thank you! Reassuring words as I had wondered if it was all too over simplified
Not at all. Layered, engaging.
I also liked “whitening winter before snowfall” and wondered if it was a metaphor for your significant other’s dying before their time…
Love your insight and sensitivity – many thanks for that
You are very welcome.
The loss of a loved one changes everything. The void it leaves in our world is like a vacuum, sucking in our heart, our peace, our joy – and can be insatiable. Only the distance of time diminishes its pull – but the emptiness remains, until we can fill it with new light.
interesting observation – particularly the insatiable element
Such an elegant, delicate profoundly simple poem – the epigraph is perfect and for me the ‘parachute siken seedheads’ indicate safe landing.
what a charming interpretation Christine- I can see it clearly now
Your poem has emotional undertones, specially with the ending:
your dying has changed all direction
and I’m struggling to my feet – again
rather strong overtones too Grace but the ending has a unpturn
A symbol, whether intended or not – white – the color of death. Well crafted. Deeply felt. Peace to you.
I appreciate your words Charley – thank you
“God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white. ” (Chesterton)
Ah, Chesterton! Yes, well… knowing what I know, I sometimes find myself pondering that we clothe many brides in funeral (funereal?) garb. 🙂
indeed – it marks the death of one life and the bright future ahead!
“whitening winter before snowfall” is incredibly evocative and beautiful in describing the emotions when a loved one has passed away.. transitioned to a better world. Sending love, prayers and hugs! 🌼🌼
I think the poem speaks of the transition you mention so delicately Sanaa
I found this poem spoke to how life unfolds while grief paralyzes – so surreal. Currently facing my mother’s declining health – your words spoke to me deeply.
I had not time to adjust – I’m not sure which is more painful. Hoping her life unfolds without too much pain
That’s what we’re all praying for.
I adore the flowering imagery and their meaning – and with change often comes struggle – but we are stronger for it!
I do love the wreaths of these seedheads stretching far and wide – a tangle of struggle on strong vines – thank you Margaret
I like the last two lines and how a death can disorient those living.
disorient a most accurate verb Frank
As soon as I read the opening lines, I saw the ‘yards of parachute silken seedheads’ in the hedgerows and thought of travellers’ joy, a name I’ve always loved, Laura! I like the use of alliteration in the line ‘whitening winter before snowfall’, which evokes clouds of breath on cold air. Change struggles through the landscape and into the final lines. It is hard to get back on your feet after such a loss, but one does get there. You are creating such beautiful poetry on the way.
Your association with breath on cold air is brilliantly construed. Thank you too for your encouraging words of kindness Kim
Exquisite imagery, Laura! Beautiful poetry also gladdens the “homeward homeless”.
The long and lonely road is surely full of poetry too
What a beautiful write! The term “homeward homeless” is intriguing, and the last two lines are heart-stopping.
Nothing like a paradox to pique our interest. The last couplet is honest and revealing – thank you Beverly
This. Is all good. The last two lines. Made me read it again and appreciate the image of the first part at deeper levels.
thank you – that is good to know – poetry should make us consider and re-consider
I am sorry for your loss, and yet you turn your grief exquisitely here to share with we readers ~
I am glad of your appreciation as grief is what touches us all sometime or another
I really love how you balance the comforting walk with the wild clematis to the grief of a change… so sorry for your loss.
thank you Bjorn bringing joy to the traveller as they must head out for a new home 😉
Safe landing with a silken parachute!
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