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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Say it clearly ... and with beauty


“Have something to say and say it as clearly as you can.  That is the only secret of style.”  - Matthew Arnold

Arnold is sometimes called the third great Victorian poet, along with Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning.  In an 1869 letter to his mother, he wrote:

“My poems represent, on the whole, the main movement of mind of the last quarter of a century, and thus they will probably have their day as people become conscious to themselves of what that movement of mind is, and interested in the literary productions which reflect it."

“Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive and widely effective mode of saying things.”  For Saturday’s poem, here is Arnold’s,
 
Longing

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

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