Summer Wood Sarojini Naidu Poetry Sheet
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
Picture-Books in Winter
Summer fading, winter comes--
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.
Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.
All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children's eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.
We may see how all things are
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies' looks,
In the picture story-books.
How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books?
A Man Young And Old: VIII. Summer And Spring
We sat under an old thorn-tree
And talked away the night,
Told all that had been said or done
Since first we saw the light,
And when we talked of growing up
Knew that we'd halved a soul
And fell the one in t'other's arms
That we might make it whole;
Then peter had a murdering look,
For it seemed that he and she
Had spoken of their childish days
Under that very tree.
O what a bursting out there was,
And what a blossoming,
When we had all the summer-time
And she had all the spring!
On the Idle Hill of Summer
On the idle hill of summer,
Sleepy with the flow of streams,
Far I hear the steady drummer
Drumming like a noise in dreams.
Far and near and low and louder
On the roads of earth go by,
Dear to friends and food for powder,
Soldiers marching, all to die.
East and west on fields forgotten
Bleach the bones of comrades slain,
Lovely lads and dead and rotten;
None that go return again.
Far the calling bugles hollo,
High the screaming fife replies,
Gay the files of scarlet follow:
Woman bore me, I will rise.
Lines Written at Thorp Green
That summer sun, whose genial glow
Now cheers my drooping spirit so
Must cold and distant be,
And only light our northern clime
With feeble ray, before the time
I long so much to see.
And this soft whispering breeze that now
So gently cools my fevered brow,
This too, alas, must turn --
To a wild blast whose icy dart
Pierces and chills me to the heart,
Before I cease to mourn.
And these bright flowers I love so well,
Verbena, rose and sweet bluebell,
Must droop and die away.
Those thick green leaves with all their shade
And rustling music, they must fade
And every one decay.
But if the sunny summer time
And woods and meadows in their prime
Are sweet to them that roam --
Far sweeter is the winter bare
With long dark nights and landscapes drear
To them that are at Home!
Summer in the South
The Oriole sings in the greening grove
As if he were half-way waiting,
The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
Timid, and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep
And the nights smell warm and pinety,
The garden thrives, but the tender shoots
Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,
Streams laugh that erst were quiet,
The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue
And the woods run mad with riot.
The summer hums. The afternoon fatigues;
she breathed her crisp white dress distractedly
and put into it that sharply etched etude
her impatience for a reality
that could come: tomorrow, this evening--,
that perhaps was there, was just kept hidden;
and at the window, tall and having everything,
she suddenly could feel the pampered park.
With that she broke off; gazed outside, locked
her hands together; wished for a long book--
and in a burst of anger shoved back
the jasmine scent. She found it sickened her.
In a Spring Grove
Here the white-ray'd anemone is born,
Wood-sorrel, and the varnish'd buttercup;
And primrose in its purfled green swathed up,
Pallid and sweet round every budding thorn,
Gray ash, and beech with rusty leaves outworn.
Here, too the darting linnet hath her nest
In the blue-lustred holly, never shorn,
Whose partner cheers her little brooding breast,
Piping from some near bough. O simple song!
O cistern deep of that harmonious rillet,
And these fair juicy stems that climb and throng
The vernal world, and unexhausted seas
Of flowing life, and soul that asks to fill it,
Each and all of these,--and more, and more than these!
IN THE FOREST
Out of the mid-wood's twilight
Into the meadow's dawn,
Ivory limbed and brown-eyed,
Flashes my Faun!
He skips through the copses singing,
And his shadow dances along,
And I know not which I should follow,
Shadow or song!
O Hunter, snare me his shadow!
O Nightingale, catch me his strain!
Else moonstruck with music and madness
I track him in vain!
Farm Boy After Summer
A seated statue of himself he seems.
A bronze slowness becomes him. Patently
The page he contemplates he doesn't see.
The lesson, the long lesson, has been summer.
His mind holds summer, as his skin holds sun.
For once the homework, all of it, was done.
What were the crops, where were the fiery fields
Where for so many days so many hours
The sun assaulted him with glittering showers.
Expect a certain absence in his presence.
Expect all winter long a summer scholar,
For scarcely all its snows can cool that color.
Praise In Summer
Obscurely yet most surely called to praise,
As sometimes summer calls us all, I said
The hills are heavens full of branching ways
Where star-nosed moles fly overhead the dead;
I said the trees are mines in air, I said
See how the sparrow burrows in the sky!
And then I wondered why this mad instead
Perverts our praise to uncreation, why
Such savour's in this wrenching things awry.
Does sense so stale that it must needs derange
The world to know it? To a praiseful eye
Should it not be enough of fresh and strange
That trees grow green, and moles can course
And sparrows sweep the ceiling of our day?
Dream Song 41: If we sang in the wood (and Death is a German expert)
If we sang in the wood (and Death is a German expert)
while snows flies, chill, after so frequent knew
so many all nothing,
for lead & fire, it's not we would assert
particulars, but animal; cats mew,
horses scream, man sing.
Or: men pslam. Man palms his ears and moans.
Death is a German expert. Scrambling, sitting,
spattering, we hurry.
I try to. Odd & trivial, atones
somehow for my escape a bullet splitting
my trod-on instep, fiery.
The cantor bubbled, rattled. The Temple burned.
Lurch with me! phantoms of Varshava. Slop!
When I used to be,
who haunted, stumbling, sewers, my sacked shop,
roofs, a dis-world ai! Death was a German
The Ragged Wood
O hurry where by water among the trees
The delicate-stepping stag and his lady sigh,
When they have but looked upon their images -
Would none had ever loved but you and I!
Or have you heard that sliding silver-shoed
Pale silver-proud queen-woman of the sky,
When the sun looked out of his golden hood? -
O that none ever loved but you and I!
O hurty to the ragged wood, for there
I will drive all those lovers out and cry -
O my share of the world, O yellow hair!
No one has ever loved but you and I.
Birds all the summer day
Flutter and quarrel
Here in the arbour-like
Tent of the laurel.
Here in the fork
The brown nest is seated;
For little blue eggs
The mother keeps heated.
While we stand watching her
Staring like gabies,
Safe in each egg are the
Bird's little babies.
Soon the frail eggs they shall
Chip, and upspringing
Make all the April woods
Merry with singing.
Younger than we are,
O children, and frailer,
Soon in the blue air they'll be,
Singer and sailor.
We, so much older,
Taller and stronger,
We shall look down on the
Birdies no longer.
They shall go flying
With musical speeches
High overhead in the
Tops of the beeches.
In spite of our wisdom
And sensible talking,
We on our feet must go
Plodding and walking.
Beyond M?gdalen and by the Bridge, on a place called there the Plain,
In Summer, in a burst of summertime
Following falls and falls of rain,
When the air was sweet-and-sour of the flown fineflower of
Those goldnails and their gaylinks that hang along a lime;
. . . . . . . .
The motion of that manís heart is fine
Whom want could not make p?ne, p?ne
That struggling should not sear him, a gift should cheer him
Like that poor pocket of pence, poor pence of mine.
. . . . . . . .
There is a June when Corn is cut
And Roses in the Seed --
A Summer briefer than the first
But tenderer indeed
As should a Face supposed the Grave's
Emerge a single Noon
In the Vermilion that it wore
Affect us, and return --
Two Seasons, it is said, exist --
The Summer of the Just,
And this of Ours, diversified
With Prospect, and with Frost --
May not our Second with its First
So infinite compare
That We but recollect the one
The other to prefer?
Sonnet XVII: Love Steals Unheeded
Love steals unheeded o'er the tranquil mind,
As Summer breezes fan the sleeping main,
Slow through each fibre creeps the subtle pain,
'Till closely round the yielding bosom twin'd.
Vain is the hope the magic to unbind,
The potent mischief riots in the brain,
Grasps ev'ry thought, and burns in ev'ry vein,
'Till in the heart the Tyrant lives enshrin'd.
Oh! Victor strong! bending the vanquish'd frame;
Sweet is the thraldom that thou bid'st us prove!
And sacred is the tear thy victims claim,
For blest are those whom sighs of sorrow move!
Then nymphs beware how ye profane my name,
Nor blame my weakness, till like me ye love!
Now the summer perch flips twice and glides
a lateral fathom at the first cold rain,
the surface near to silver from a frosty hill.
Along the weed and grain of log he slides his tail.
Nervously the trout (his stream-toned heart
locked in the lake, his poise and nerve disgraced)
above the stirring catfish, curves in bluegill dreams
and curves beyond the sudden thrust of bass.
Surface calm and calm act mask the detonating fear,
the moving crayfish claw, the stare
of sunfish hovering above the cloud-stained sand,
a sucker nudging cans, the grinning maskinonge.
How do carp resolve the eel and terror here?
They face so many times this brown-ribbed fall of leaves
predicting weather foreign as a shark or prawn
and floating still above them in the paling sun.
It can't be "Summer"!
That -- got through!
It's early -- yet -- for "Spring"!
There's that long town of White -- to cross --
Before the Blackbirds sing!
It can't be "Dying"!
It's too Rouge --
The Dead shall go in White --
So Sunset shuts my question down
With Cuffs of Chrysolite!
Noon Walk On The Asylum Lawn
The summer sun ray
shifts through a suspicious tree.
though I walk through the valley of the shadow
It sucks the air
and looks around for me.
The grass speaks.
I hear green chanting all day.
I will fear no evil, fear no evil
The blades extend
and reach my way.
The sky breaks.
It sags and breathes upon my face.
In the presence of mine enemies, mine enemies
The world is full of enemies.
There is no safe place.