Charlotte Mew's "Smile, Death" (which appeared in my previous post) has a bit of a Romantic/Gothic air to it that is not necessarily characteristic of Mew's poetry as a whole. Although she certainly addresses Love and Time and Death in her poems, she usually does so in a lower-case fashion. The following poem is a fine example. Two possible translations of the title are: "What's the good of saying/speaking?" or "What's the point of saying/speaking?"
A Quoi Bon Dire?
Seventeen years ago you said
Something that sounded like Good-bye;
And everybody thinks that you are dead,
So I, as I grow stiff and cold
To this and that say Good-bye too;
And everybody sees that I am old
And one fine morning in a sunny lane
Some boy and girl will meet and kiss and swear
That nobody can love their way again
While over there
You will have smiled, I shall have tossed your hair.
Charlotte Mew, The Farmer's Bride (1916).
To my mind (and I claim no originality to this thought), the tone and diction of a poem such as "A Quoi Bon Dire?" show that Mew is in the line that moves from Thomas Hardy through Edward Thomas to Philip Larkin (to name the key figures). This line, which is often thought of as being poetically "traditional" (or "old-fashioned"), sounds more contemporary and more natural to my ear than the oftentimes portentous and artificial "Modernism" of Eliot and Pound and their followers, which to me sounds dated and stilted.