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The Poets

March 17, 2011

At the Water's Edge


I came across the name Sully Prudhomme after having studied French symbolism. The period of poetry within which he’s associated is the Parnassian period (a primarily French movement in poetry characterized by a departure from the sentimentalism of the Romantic poets, a return to traditional forms and meter, grand subjects, and an attitude of ‘art for art’s sake').

The first poem I read by Prudhomme is called, At the Water’s Edge. It consists of six quatrains with alternating lines of pentameter and dimeter (e.g. 10 syllables in the one, and four in the other). The rhyme scheme is simple: abab.

The poem itself is an empathetic reflection on life and all its different manifestations: watching waves within the water (lines 1 and 2), listening and enjoying the warbling of the wren (lines 11 and 12), knowing love (line 18 and line 24) … basically, enjoying the beauty of life.

Yeah, I like this Prudhomme dude (here’s that poem) …


At the Water's Edge

To sit and watch the wavelets as they flow
Two - side by side;
To see the gliding clouds that come and
And mark them glide;

If from low roofs the smoke is wreathing pale,
To watch it wreath;
If flowers around breathe perfume on the gale,
To feel them breathe;

If the bee sips the honeyed fruit that glistens,
To sip the dew;
If the bird warbles while the forest listens,
To listen too;

Beneath the willow where the brook is singing,
To hear its song;
Nor feel, while round us that sweet dream is clinging
The hours too long;

To know one only deep over mastering passion -
The love we share;
To let the world go worrying in its fashion
Without one care -

We only, while around all weary grow,
Unwearied stand,
And midst the fickle changes others knows,
Love - hand in hand

2 comments:

Nancy said...

Oh my.... yes, that is nice; it caresses and soothes; a very worthy love indeed. This poetry style suits you, and the quality of the poem (as always) matches the picture chosen.... how DO you do that? Thanks, John.

Your loyal follower...

Nancy said...

John.... what is the source of this picture? It soothes my soul and it's image just stays and stays with me. Thanks!

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