Friday, December 12, 2008

Poetry Friday - Sorley’s Weather

Yesterday was a wet, dreary day. However, I curled up in the corner chair near the fire last night and read poetry while deciding what to post today. Here's my choice.
Sorley’s Weather
by Robert Graves

When outside the icy rain
   Comes leaping helter-skelter,
Shall I tie my restive brain
   Snugly under shelter?

Shall I make a gentle song
   Here in my firelit study,
When outside the winds blow strong
   And the lanes are muddy?

With old wine and drowsy meats
   Am I to fill my belly?
Shall I glutton here with Keats?
   Shall I drink with Shelley?

Tobacco’s pleasant, firelight’s good:
   Poetry makes both better.
Clay is wet and so is mud,
   Winter rains are wetter.

Yet rest there, Shelley, on the sill,
   For though the winds come frorely,
I’m away to the rain-blown hill
   And the ghost of Sorley.

This poem comes from the book Fairies and Fusiliers, published in 1918. You can read more poems from the book here.
The round up this week is being hosted by the amazing Elaine over at Wild Rose Reader. Do stop by and take in all the great poetry being shared. Before you go, don't forget to check out this week's poetry stretch results. Happy poetry Friday, all!


  1. This is a great poem, and sometimes very well describes me -- rainy weather can make you a little sick of being indoors, and being out in it can be exhilarating -- unless you have to be, and can't come in when you get cold!

    I do wonder to which Sorley this refers -- both of them are on my radar in Scotland -- poet and Highland scholar Sorley Maclean, whose Gaelic poetry didn't receive translation or much attention 'til the mid '70's, or brilliant poet Charles Sorley of Aberdeen who was killed in WWI before he could take his scholarship at Marlborough College, and whose 37 poems were published posthumously? Both of them would have been wanderers and at home in the rain and muck -- they're Scottish, after all!

  2. What a perfect poem to describe the day. I can picture you by the fire reading it. Have a good weekend!

  3. Thanks for sharing this poem. It describes the weather we've been having in Baltimore! I'll be out there in the wet and muck with Graves, Sorley and my dog today.

  4. TadMack - I wondered myself which Sorley, so I did a bit of searching. Apparently, Graves referred to Charles Hamilton Sorley in another poem in which he refers to him as "one of the three poets of importance killed during the war."

    You cane read more at the First World War Poetry Digital Archive.

  5. I can relate to this too - it is supposed to be summer here, but we've had days and days of rain. My 2 yo was going stir-crazy so I took him outside in the pouring rain and we went running through big muddy puddles. Your poem brought back how much more fun it was than trying to amuse ourselves sheltering inside! Thanks :D

  6. I walked the dog in the rain the other day, just because. Now I know I needed what this poem has. I did like having a fire to come home to, though.

  7. Reminds me of the poem I shared with my students this morning. It was Merriam's Poem about windshield wipers!

  8. Me, I'm stayin' by the fire while the rest of you fools go tramping around in the cold rains!