Thursday 3 June 2021

Lost Lanes, Cut Grass, a Golden Anniversary

 Yesterday, while enjoying my constitutional, I took this photograph of a path bordered by lush cow parsley (or Queen Anne's lace) and posted it on Facebook, captioned 'Lost lanes of Queen Anne's lace' – a line from Philip Larkin's 'Cut Grass'. Today I discover that this poem – surely one of the finest really short poems in English, certainly one that packs the most charge into the fewest syllables – was written (or signed off) on this date exactly 50 years ago. Surely a golden anniversary worth marking...

Cut grass lies frail:
Brief is the breath
Mown stalks exhale.
Long, long the death

It dies in the white hours
Of young-leafed June
With chestnut flowers,
With hedges snowlike strewn,

White lilac bowed,
Lost lanes of Queen Anne's lace,
And that high-builded cloud
Moving at summer's pace.

No comments:

Post a Comment