Thursday, 15 March 2012

Six for gold

Sometimes, a picture I've taken will  trigger a line from a poem or words from a song (hence the recent picture meditations in my Blog). 
Sunday morning's walk with Ron was around the well-trodden circular route that forms part of Letchworth Garden City's Greenway.
As we approached the first bend, I spotted a magpie flying overhead, then another, and another until there were six in the trees bordering the Nature Reserve.

I found myself reciting the words from the children's rhyme.

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,never to be told,
Eight for a wish,
Nine for a kiss,
Ten for a bird you must not miss.

As we walked up the first long hill, I had to remove my coat as it was very warm in the early sunshine. A skylark spiralled upwards, its song mimicking the rise and fall of its flight. The lines from another poem flew into my head at the sound though I knew it wasn't a thrush I was hearing. 

'NOTHING is so beautiful as spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;'

Melvyn Bragg's series on Class has just finished. It provided insights into the way society changed during the 20th century.  I'm sure the poetry and music that I recall in response to a visual or aural stimulus reflects those change. Not only has society changed, but individuals too. My eleven year old self would not have responded in the way I did on Sunday. She knew the children's rhyme of course, but had yet to be introduced the words of Gerald Manley Hopkins, Dickens, and Blake, or the lyrics of Queen. 

Whatever its origin, there is British poetry and music in my psyche and it colours the way I view the world.