Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reading of the week.

“….If I'm not back in time, you'd better get someone to help you with the digging,' he says. He reads me some of the poems he has written that I have not heard - the last one of all called Out in the Dark. And I venture to question one line,and he says, 'Oh, no, it's right, Helen, I'm sure it's right.' And I nod because I can't speak, and I try to smile at his assurance.
I sit and stare stupidly at his luggage by the wall, and his roll of bedding, kit-bag, and suitcase. He takes out his prismatic compass and explains it to me, but I cannot see, and when a tear drops onto it, he just shuts it up and puts it away. Then he says, as he takes book out of his pocket, 'You see, your Shakespeare's Sonnets is already where it will always be. Shall I read you some?' He reads one or two to me. His face is grey and his mouth trembles, but his voice is quiet and steady. And soon I slip to the floor and sit between his knees,and while he reads his hand falls over my shoulder and I hold it with mine. . . . . .
I've always been able to warm you, haven't I?'' Yes, your lovely body never feels as cold as mine does. How is it that I am so cold when my heart is so full of passion?' 'You must have Bronwen to sleep with you while I am away. But you must not make my heart cold with sadness, but keep it warm, for no one else but you has ever found my heart, and for you it was a poor thing after all. . . . .
So we lay, all night, sometimes talking of our love and all that had been, and of the children, and what had been a miss and what right.We knew the best was that there had never been untruth between us.We knew all of each other, and it was right. So talking and crying and loving in each other's arms we fell asleep as the cold reflected light of the snow crept through the frost-covered windows.
A thick mist hung everywhere, and there was not sound except,far away in the valley, a train shunting. I stood at the gate watching him go; he turned back to wave until the mist and the hill hid him. I heard his old call coming up to me: 'Coo-ee!' he called. 'Coo-ee!' I answered, keeping my voice strong to call again. Again through the muffled air came his 'Coo-ee.' And again went my answer like an echo.'Coo-ee' came fainter next time with the hill between us, but my 'Coo-ee' went out of my lungs strong to pierce to him as he strode away from me. 'Coo-ee!' So faint now it might only be my own call flung back from the thick air and muffling snow. I put my hands up to my mouth to make a trumpet, but no sound came. Panic seized me,and I ran through the mist and the snow to the top of the hill, and stood there a moment dumbly, with straining eyes and ears. There was nothing but the mist and the snow and the silence of death.Then with leaden feet which stumbled in a sudden darkness that overwhelmed me I groped my way back to the empty house.”

Before leaving for war as narrated by wife  Helen Thomas.
World Without End (1931)
Edward Thomas was killed by a shell in the battle of Arras on Easter. World war 1,1917.



Close up:
"Development can never be in isolation."
~ Bhagwad Gita
 

3 comments:

  1. Horrors of the wars. :(

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  2. Touching and nicely penned.Waiting for more.

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  3. Thanks for dropping by Gunjan kumar.

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