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Saturday, 20 June 2009

June Thunder and good language

I've just been inching through a particularly dull report. It's full of what I call 'council-speak' - the kind of stuff that is a language all of its own, and leaves you wondering what on earth it actually means - if it means much at all. And leaves you thinking that the same thing could have been said in about 3 pages, instead of 53. And then I thought of this poem, partly because of the month and the weather, but I thought I would post it up as an example of language used well: Saying an awful lot in really not that many words. The photo is one I took when I was out canvassing in Horfield.

June Thunder

Louis Macneice

The Junes were free and full, driving through tiny
Roads, the mudguards brushing the cowparsley,
Through fields of mustard and under boldly embattled
Mays and chestnuts

Or between beeches verdurous and voluptuous
Or where broom and gorse beflagged the chalkland--
All the flare and gusto of the unenduring
Joys of a season

Now returned but I note as more appropriate
To the maturer mood impending thunder
With an indigo sky and the garden hushed except for
The treetops moving.

Then the curtains in my room blow suddenly inward,
The shrubbery rustles, birds fly heavily homeward,
The white flowers fade to nothing on the trees and rain comes
Down like a dropscene.

Now there comes catharsis, the cleansing downpour
Breaking the blossoms of our overdated fancies
Our old sentimentality and whimsicality
Loves of the morning.

Blackness at half-past eight, the night's precursor,
Clouds like falling masonry and lightning's lavish
Annunciation, the sword of the mad archangel
Flashed from the scabbard.

If only you would come and dare the crystal
Rampart of the rain and the bottomless moat of thunder,
If only now you would come I should be happy
Now if now only.

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