Wednesday, October 24, 2007


The Dearness of Common Things

Ivor Gurney, Common Things:
The dearness of common things —
Beech wood, tea, plate-shelves,
And the whole family of crockery —
Wood-axes, blades, helves.

Ivory milk, earth's coffee,
The white face of books
And the touch, feel, smell of paper —
Latin's lovely looks.

Earth fine to handle;
The touch of clouds,
When the imagining arm leaps out to caress
Grey worsted or wool clouds.

Wool, rope, cloth, old pipes
Gone, warped in service;
And the one herb of tobacco,
The herb of grace, the censer weed,
Of whorled, blue, finger-traced curves.

Claude Raguet Hirst, Companions (Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio):

William Michael Harnett, The Professor's Old Friends (Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine):

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