Monday, 16 August 2010

Brown Penny

This week, my husband and I attended a beautiful service. Not held in church, but in Dorset woodland where the trees were the only canopy above. Luckily the rain had stopped, leaving the air as scented as incense. The couple, both in their sixties, had asked a few friends and family to be with them on renewal of their vows. Only this time, forty years after the first vows were said and blessed by a priest, these ones were re-created in the form of a poem by Yeats. Hippies now, rather than in the sixties, friends as much as lovers and no longer in chemical overdrive, save for perhaps paracetamol. The couple glowed a peaceful certainty that was once pure passion and the woods were where they had first found love, much like their parents before who were survivors of World War ll. As I’m in the middle of writing a wartime saga, this seemed the perfect time to reflect on the importance of romantic theme, holding plot and pace together. Having wrestled this way and that with my own winding, intricate way, I thought of my fellow writers and your windings and wrestlings and all the effort we put in to each tale. And I’m so proud to be part of us.

I WHISPERED, 'I am too young,'
And then, 'I am old enough';
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
'Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair.'
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.
O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon.

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