April awakens¬†#April #poetry #Browning #Spring #travel

‘O to be in England

Now that April’s there,

And whoever wakes in England

Sees, some morning unaware,

That the lowest boughs and brushwood sheaf

Round the elm-tree bold are in tiny leaf,

While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough

In England – now!’

First verse of ‘Home-thoughts, from abroad’ by Robert Browning.

This poem was probably written at home in England in April 1845 when Browning was recalling his second tour of Italy

I am currently in South-West France, recalling and reviewing Spring photographs of England. This photo was taken not far from the Marylebone church in which Browning married Elizabeth Barrett in 1846: 170 years ago.  

The tree is a pink-cupped magnolia blossoming against a cobalt-blue sky.

This world is waking up from its winter slumber. Time to spring into action.

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Looking Rosy¬†#poetry #roses #quotes #March #England #London #Shakespeare

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (Act II, Scene II ‘Romeo & Juliet‘ by Shakespeare).
But I do particularly like ‘The Poet’s Wife’ (Auswhirl) grown by David Austin, English rose aficionado of Great Britain (see photo). This variety was introduced in 2014 and is the first yellow rose of his collection since the ‘Charles Darwin‘ of 2003.

‘Beautifully formed’ ‘Strong and unfading’ ‘Rich and Fruity’ 

Now is the time to start planting these beauties … there are some wonderful names to choose from. Take a stroll around Queen Mary’s Rose Garden in Regent’s Park, London and find hundreds of wonderfully named bedded buds (not yet in bloom, of course, but perfect in sunny June).

‘Why June is the time for a rose to bloom’

The rose is adored by poets from Robert Burns to Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  

Who is this poet and who is his wife? 

Ans. ‘Naturally rounded’ and a very fine inspiration for his work, perhaps.

Get searching and share your favourite named roses…
(See previous blog Captivated by Roses -November 2015).

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‘Never the Time and the Place’

May is an inspiring time for poets. A fresh green carpet of newness, buds, flowers ready to bloom, fruits to come, warmer air & circling swallows; the year is promising, bright & full of beauty & optimism. At the age of 70, Robert Browning (who resolved to become a poet age 14) composed these lines just after his May birthday in 1882: ‘Never the time and the place And the loved one all together! This path – how soft to pace! This May – what magic weather! Did he take a walk around Regent’s Park, steps away from the Marylebone church where he’d married his wife Elizabeth (now, long dead) wishing her to be with him…in this time, this place, on these paths? I wish I could ask him. Parks are full of lonely wanderers & poets love them. They clear your head & stimulate new ideas, mix these ideas with a dreamy countenance, a play on words, nature & love, and poetry flows… ‘Through the magic of May to herself indeed!’