Monday, 5 June 2017

Day 5 - Swifts by Ted Hughes

Well, it's Day 5 and I've not made it outside other than my walk to work with head down and brolly just about staying up.

I'm not convinced that I've not been transported back to March! To remind me that nature is very much alive and kicking I've been watching the clouds scud across the sky and looking for swifts. In their absence I've decided to relook at Ted Hughes' wonderful poem 'Swifts' which describes how I feel when I catch my first glimpse of the year's returning Swifts - those great symmetrical acrobats of the sky. I'm quoting an extract here, noting that I saw my first Swift this year on 7th May, a few days before Ted Hughes on this occasion! Let's hope our summer is still all to come!

Fifteenth of May. Cherry blossom. The swifts
Materialise at the tip of a long scream
Of needle. ‘Look! They’re back! Look!’ And they’re gone
On a steep
Controlled scream of skid
Round the house-end and away under the cherries.
Suddenly flickering in sky summit, three or four together,
Gnat-whisp frail, and hover-searching, and listening
For air-chills – are they too early? With a bowing
Power-thrust to left, then to right, then a flicker they
Tilt into a slide, a tremble for balance,
Then a lashing down disappearance
Behind elms.
                                  They’ve made it again,
Which means the globe’s still working, the Creation’s
Still waking refreshed, our summer’s
Still all to come –
 – From Swifts by Ted Hughes.

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