Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Poetry of Margery Clute (11)

A Wayward Thought

A Wayward thought assailed me:
I know this place of yore.
The range, the chair, the window:
I've seen them all before.

Perhaps I dreamt of such a place,
Forgotten until now?
There is no way of telling:
If I did, I'll never know.

Perhaps I lived another life,
Unknown until some potent thing
Disturbed a knowledge, parcelled up,
Unravelling the string?

(Can I be sure? Does Time connect
Each moment to the next?
Such wayward thoughts confuse me
And leave me feeling vexed).

Perhaps this is the place I sat
Before I went outside
And coming back it's still the same,
The place where I reside?

'Tis so, I deem. The answer's clear!
Simplicity itself!
I recognise that book I left
Sitting on the shelf!

 Margery Clute (1824-76)


The Solitary Walker said...

The penultimate stanza is proof indeed - if proof were needed - that Margery was well versed with the ideas of Locke, Hume, Bishop Berkeley and other empirical philosophers. And some critics say she was an intellectual airhead! I ask you.

George said...

I think Margery and I would have gotten along quite wel together since I, too, am often prone to similar wayward thoughts. Of the Clute poems you have published thus far, I think this is my favorite.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Resonant of a by-gone age!

The Solitary Walker said...

Your favourite so far, George, perhaps! But just wait till you see the others Dominic has up his Svengali sleeves. I can think of five off the top of my head which knock the socks off this one, namely: 'On The Death Of A Favourite Cat Drowned In A Tub of Sturgeon', 'The Rubaiyat Of A Huddersfield Costermonger', 'The Barnsley Chop: A Villanelle', 'Uncorseted Memories Part XXIV' and "Ode To A Macclesfield Urn'. I presume Dominic is keeping these till the end of the series?

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments!

SW: Although she was clearly well-read, I think MC approached intellectual matters with a touching naiveté.

George: Thanks for that - and there was I thinking it wasn't one of her best. It only just made it into my selection.

WG: Bygone? Perhaps - but, as Clute says, "Does Time connect/Each moment to the next?"

Titus said...

Well, I'm just enjoying them.

John Hayes said...

Do we ever sit in the same chair twice? A "vexed" question indeed!