“They dip their wings in the sunset,
They dash against the air
As if to break themselves upon its stillness”
Swallows ~ Leonora Speyer.
The hirondelles are here hitchhikers on a temperate wind out of Africa even before winter had migrated North - perhaps they did not leave after all, after that last September day when the sun kept back reserves of heat and insects ascended in the vortex out of the thermals with piercing glee the fork-tailed birds scythed and boomeranged through swarms fast food for the swift metallic saw-wings a skim above our heads then dipping sipping the bright tidal waters hand in hand, faces upturned, we turned roundabout with child-like awe mesmerised by movements, those oh so enduring moments before our world tail spun into grief I've watched hirondelles here again and the whole swallow summer is yet to be only you will not return to see
Notes: Hirondelles – Swallows (Fr) – passerines of the Hirundinidae family
Joining Sherry as she hosts this Sunday’s Poetry Pantry
27 thoughts on “suddenly last autumn”
That moment of seeing the birds’ return, without the beloved one, is so poignant. From one spring to another, everything has changed. Thinking of you, Laura. This is a beautiful poem.
thank you Sherry – normally such joy to see the returnees but very evocative this time round
A lyrical poem! I learned something (the French name for swallows may come in handy), and the etymology behind the name of Simon Templar’s mythical automobile (in the stories; not the TV show nor the movie). So I’ve got that going for me! 🙂
A very different bird indeed – the Hirondel was “a snarling silver fiend that roared through London on the wings of an unearthly wind”
You might like the artists impressions here
P.s. Martin would have appreciated your comment – he read all those books
Oh my! Thank you for that link. I have been a Saint fan since I was six or seven. I have read as many of the stories as I could get my hands on — better than Bond.
I enjoyed this side conversation, having loved and devoured those books myself, in my late teens and early twenties.
They are a lot of fun… a good excuse not to be writing.
By the way… in the article it says that “The Saint” (nickname) is never explained. Simon Templar… S.T…. St. As in St. Paul. Interesting coincidence: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g2139730-d8272958-Reviews-L_hirondelle-Saint_Simon_de_Bordes_Charente_Maritime_Nouvelle_Aquitaine.html
the permutations are endless – St (Simon) Peter and the association by nomenclature with the Knights Templar and their chivalric ideals
A beautiful poem!
A gorgeous, joyous poem – and then that poignant moment at the end. However, we achieve nothing by refusing the joys once shared; better to learn to appreciate them alone (with all the memories attached, making them bitter-sweet). I realise you know this; just expressing fellow-feeling.
yes tis true and I know it but appreciate the reiteration from one who knows – glad the joy came through this poem!
What a beautiful poem. I am thinking of you…
we are in different places but our thoughts are mutual – thank you for your appreciation
How full of feeling this beautiful poem is as it remembers a love lost.
yes the return of the swallows has brought back a most wonderful, almost last memory
A most exquisite poem, Laura! ❤️ The hirondelles are majestic birds and you have described them well! 😀
thank you Sanaa – they are rather special visitors
So sad. Your world tail spun into grief.The shock of it all. I am so sorry for your situation. This is a very beautiful poem.
I really appreciate your comment Cressida – it still feels like a tail spin
By calling a swallow a hirondelle it makes it seem as if it’s an entirely different bird. A completely different atmosphere to it. (Never read any of the Saint books.)
it is their latin family name which the French utilise and I like the sound of it too
P.S. confused . . did you write this memorable poem or was it someone called Leonora Speyer? Or are you also Leonora Speyer?
no I wrote the poem Lucy – L Speyer wrote the opening italicised lines
I’m really impressed.
well thank you Lucy – I need encouragement sometimes!
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