Tuesday, 8 May 2012

RAIN

 Francis Horovitz (1938 - 1983)
Francis Horovitz began to write poetry after her marriage to the performance poet Michael Horovitz. 
She lived in a farmhouse at Kiln Hill, near the Roman fort of Birdoswald beside Hadrian's Wall. Birdoswald is situated high above the Irthing Valley in Cumbria. In 1980 she received a poetry commission on the theme 'Hadrian's Wall'. 
Rain at Birdoswald
I stand under a leafless tree
more still, in this mouse-pattering
thrum of rain,

than cattle shifting in the field.
It is more dark than light.
A Chinese painter's brush of deepening grey
moves in a subtle tide.
The beasts are darker islands now.
Wet-stained and silvered by the rain
they suffer night,
marooned as still as stone or tree.
We sense each other's quiet.
Almost, death could come
inevitable, unstrange 
as is this dusk and rain,
and I should be no more
myself, than raindrops
glimmering in the last light
on black ash buds
or night beasts in a winter field.
Francis died shortly after writing this poem at the age of 45 after a long struggle with cancer.
Addendum - the plant at the beginning of this post is the Common Butterwort - Pinguicula Primuliflora - we have them growing in a large terracotta bowl. The plant is insectivorous, trapping and partly digesting small insects and spiders on the soft sticky upper surface of the leaves.

40 comments:

  1. The mood of the poem is beautifully captured by your photos, very sombre and reflective.

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    1. Dear Rosemary - thank you - this poem by Francis certainly has more resonance to it when you realise that she was soon to die. Rain drops are like diamonds but also tears.

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  2. Hello Rosemary:
    What a beautifully illustrated and thoughtful post you delight us with today! All we hear from England is about the terrible weather and the constant rain. This can be so disheartening in the garden when plants are battered to the ground and water lies in pools everywhere. We do so hope that you are not adversely affected and that the days may cheer up soon.

    The poem by Francis Horovitz is incredibly atmospheric with some beautifully lyrical lines. Certainly the imminence of her own death is captured most poignantly in these words.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance - I am so pleased that you enjoyed this rather reflective post.
      The photos were taken following a heavy downpour yesterday. However, today the rain clouds have scudded away. It is both warm and sunny, everything is looking perky. Fingers crossed.
      Knowing that Francis was dying at the time this was written, adds to the melancholy atmosphere of the poem.

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  3. The rain drops are so striking and beautiful. You may be far away yet we are kindred spirits because I photographed raindrops at 8:00 AM today in a gentle drizzle. I should not have done it because my Rebel camera could get damaged but I could not resist.

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    1. Dear Olive - I shall look forward to seeing your raindrops. Yes, it is a big problem taking raindrops without a waterproof camera. You can get yourself strategically poised and then plop, the raindrop lands on the camera! My camera is not really up to good macro photos nor is it waterproof!

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  4. Dear Rosemary, Why not make the best of it. And you have. Sensational photographs and lovely words to celebrate life giving rain. ox, Gina

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    1. Dear Gina - the good thing is that the rain is normally followed by the sun, and I do not need to trail around the garden with a watering can.

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  5. Dear Rosemary
    Beautiful poem and corresponds with the wonderful photos. I hope to stop the rain, the sun to shine and to change your mood. The rain, however, is beneficial for the garden and plants.
    Have a shinning day
    Olympia

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    1. Dear Olympia - pleased to tell you that the sun has shone all day, the rain was yesterday. The rain is beneficial as you say, everything is growing so rapidly.
      Thank you for your very kind comments♥

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  6. Thank you for sharing such an emotive poem with us Rosemary. Perfectly complimented by your beautifully haunting photographs.
    I don't know if it was perhaps the end of a busy day but the drops of rain have a hypnotic effect, even though I knew they were only drops of rain, I still had to look within each of them.
    Paul

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    1. Dear Paul - the raindrops do seem to have an hypnotic effect. In fact I can see that I am reflected in some of them wearing pale blue.
      I am so pleased that you enjoyed the poem and the photos, thank you.

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    1. Thank you Lisa - that is much appreciated.

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  8. What a beautiful post that you have written about Francis Horvitz. I do not know her works.
    But i will surely endevour to look them up.
    Your photography is stunning Rosemary, and so fitting for such beautifully written words.
    You have captured the rain in all its beauty.
    So true! After the rain comes the sun.
    As though from another world.. the sun appeared this afternoon and its now at around 25 o.. its been raining for a week.
    I hope that you have kept some reserve of the rainfall. I know that you have a hosepipe ban.
    Those beautiful flowers must be watered.
    Thank you Rosemary.
    val

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    1. Dear Val - how lovely to be so warm - it is dry and warmer here now but not that hot. Fortunately in the West of the country we do not have a hosepipe ban at the moment.
      Glad you enjoyed the post along with the photographs. I wish my camera was better so that I could capture macro photos better.
      One thing with all of this rain, the plants and the weeds are growing like there is no tomorrow. Take care♥

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  9. Rosemary what a fantastic poem and the photo's with the waterdrops is a story on it's own. Great post.

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    1. Dear Marijke - thank you for your very generous comments. It seems poetry and photos can sit happily along side one another. I am encouraged by what you say.

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  10. Your photographs accompany the words in a such a touching way! It's is as if you had written the words or the photographs were taken by Francis - like a symbiosis. When I read that Francis has died so early after a long illness I understand much better why she felt so deeply grateful. Thank you, Rosemary and thank you, Francis. Christa

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    1. Dear Christa - I am very grateful for your lovely comment - I had hoped the photographs would compliment Francis's reflective words, especially remembering what a poignant time it was in her life. Thank you.

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  11. I adore water droplets! These are all fantastic. And a lovely poem to accompany them. Very nice!

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    1. Dear Marie - thank you, that is a great compliment - you are a much more skilled photographer than me. I am pleased that you like the combination of words photos.

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  12. A lovely poem and truly wonderful photographs. Thank you, Rosemary.

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    1. I hoped my photographs would do justice to the reflective poignant words - thank you.

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    2. Each of these plants in unfamiliar to me. The first is a very pretty flower for one which is carnivorous.

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    3. Dear Karen - it is a case of looks deceiving, its leaves are a treacherous trap for small insects.

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  13. a truly gift for the senses, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hello Elena - thank you that is a very generous comment.

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  14. Dear Rosemary - Your photographs of dewdrops are all gorgeous! I think the fourth one would make a fine Christmas card.

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    1. Thank you Mark, your comment has made my day. You are right, I think that it would make a good Christmas card image.

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  15. Just perfect. In every way. I fell in love with this post Rosemary. Thank you !

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    1. Hello Dani - that is a very kind comment thank you very much, and am delighted that you enjoyed it♥

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  16. Hello Rosemary,
    these flowers are just fantastic!
    It's nice to have that vision for the beautiful!
    a hug

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    1. Dear Antonio - coming from such a great artist as yourself, that is indeed a very generous comment. Thank you♥

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  17. A great post!
    Love the poem and your photos.
    All these photos are gorgeous, Rosemary.
    I especially love the first one.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Mette

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    1. Dear Mette - thank you. The Butterwort is a lovely little flower but with that deadly secret for unwary insects on it's leaves.

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  18. Beautifull photo's .
    I just stop by and was amazed by your photo's.
    Great!
    Love annette

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    1. Dear Annette - thank you for your visit and kind comment. Glad you enjoyed the photos - do visit again.

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  19. I’ve seen many photos of raindrops but never seen such magical droplets like these on various different leaves. Each of dewdrop looks as beautiful as a jewel or more and looks like a tiny universe itself.

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    1. That is such a very kind comment which I do appreciate. I am so pleased that you enjoyed seeing the photos.

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