Friday, January 18, 2008

Poetry Friday - More Alcott

I'm still thinking and reading about Louisa May Alcott. Since I'm such a fan of Thoreau, I found this poem gave me much to think about.
Thoreau’s Flute
by Louisa May Alcott

We, sighing, said, “Our Pan is dead;
   His pipe hangs mute beside the river;
   Around it wistful sunbeams quiver,
But Music’s airy voice is fled.
Spring mourns as for untimely frost;
   The bluebird chants a requiem;
   The willow-blossom waits for him;
The Genius of the wood is lost.”

Then from the flute, untouched by hands,
   There came a low, harmonious breath:
   “For such as he there is no death;
His life the eternal life commands;
Above man’s aims his nature rose:
   The wisdom of a just content
   Made one small spot a continent,
And turned to poetry Life’s prose.

“Haunting the hills, the stream, the wild,
   Swallow and aster, lake and pine,
   To him grew human or divine,—
Fit mates for this large-hearted child.
Such homage Nature ne’er forgets,
   And yearly on the coverlid
   ’Neath which her darling lieth hid
Will write his name in violets.

“To him no vain regrets belong,
   Whose soul, that finer instrument,
   Gave to the world no poor lament,
But wood-notes ever sweet and strong.
O lonely friend! he still will be
   A potent presence, though unseen,—
   Steadfast, sagacious, and serene:
Seek not for him,—he is with thee.”
The round up today is over at Farm School. Please stop by and check out all the great poetry being shared this week. Before you head on over, do read this week's poetry stretch results. We have some great centos created from titles of favorite books.


  1. Her novels, yes, her poetry, no. This is a good introduction to Alcott for me. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ditto to what TadMack said (though I've never read Little Women, for shame). That is a lovely poem.

    And I've enjoyed reading the results of your cento challenge.

    Jules, 7-Imp

  3. "Will write his name in violets. "
    No better tribute!

  4. For the second week in a row, a thank you for posting some Alcott poetry.

  5. What a beautiful selection for today, Tricia. I can't imagine growing up and having a friend such as Thoreau. What a gift.

    Have you ever seen the picture book version with illustrations by Mary Azarian? Our library has it, but I'm sad to see it's apparently out of print now.

  6. Lovely lovely lovely.
    He sure inspired lots of good stuff, old Thoreau...

  7. Am enjoying reading more of Alcott's poetry. Thanks so much.

  8. "Made one small spot a continent,
    And turned to poetry Life’s prose."