Sunday, July 1, 2012

"Aeons Hence"

The following poem by James Reeves provides a modest (yet hopeful) view of what a soul may leave behind after its stay here.  We each dwell on our own "unregarded island," one that is both earthy and imaginative.  Yes, yes, I know:  "No man is an island, entire of itself," according to John Donne.  But, then again, each of us dies alone.  Take your pick.

                               Richard Eurich, "Bottle on a Beach" (1976)

                 Aeons Hence

When, aeons hence, they rediscover
The unregarded island I inhabit,
Will they not marvel
How life upon so bare a soil withstood
This testy climate and abrasive sea?

And when by excavation
My relics are exposed, my habits known,
How, perching on a ledge out of the wind,
I scraped a living, will they not admit
They've lost the secret of some things I did,
As making good pots from this gritty clay
And music from a certain kind of shells?

James Reeves, Subsong (1969).

It doesn't sound half-bad, really, "perching on a ledge out of the wind." Like Alexander Selkirk, but with more comforts.  And the thought of leaving certain things behind, while taking certain secrets with you, is worth considering as well.

                          Richard Eurich, "The Road to Grassington" (1971)


Jeff said...

That Eurich painting is a poem in itself.

Stephen Pentz said...

Jeff: thank you very much for stopping by again.

Yes, that is a remarkable painting, isn't it? I was amazed when I first came across it. Your description of it is perfect.

As always, thank you for your thoughts.

Bex said...

By chance I clicked on "John Donne" and this entry came up. When I saw the author "Thomas Washbourne" I wondered if he could have been related to me, as my mother's family are Washburns from England and Europe. So I went to my list of ancestors that I'd prepared last year, and lo and behold, here is the section I found that probably connects me to this Thomas Washbourne:

"6. John Washbourne
b. 1356
d. May 13, 1454
m. Margaret Le Poher (b. 1378 d.1427)

Note: John Washborne was twice married; by his first wife Joan, daughter and heiress
of Sir John Musard, he had one daughter - Isolde - who married John Solway and carried
with her the Stanford Estates. He married 2nd Margerey Poher (or Power), daughter of
Lord John Poher, by whom he inherited large estates at Wichenford in 1397.
After his marriage with Margerey Power, John Washborne lived at Wichenford Court
and died there May 13, 1454. The Washborne family continued to live at Wichenford for
six generations.

7. Norman (or Norborne) Washbourne
b. 1420 (Stanford, Wichenford, Worcs., England)
d. 1479
m. Elizabeth Knivton (b.1420 d. May 1454

8. John Washbourne or Washburn
b. 1451 (Stanford, Wichenford, Worcs, England.
d. May 6, 1517
m. Joan Mitton or Mytton (b.1455 d.1517)

I so so love your blog!

Stephen Pentz said...

Bex: What a wonderful discovery! You are fortunate to have such a noble poetic ancestor.

I'm happy to hear from you again. I greatly appreciate your kind words about the blog. Happy Thanksgiving!