Wednesday, 1 September 2010
The Book of The Green Man
In 1967 the American poet Ronald Johnson turned his attention to the English landscape in his book "The Book of The Green Man". The British poet Christopher Middleton comments in the flyleaf of the book that Johnson "presents an image of England, or to be precise, sundry English scenes, with a vividness and a strangeness . . . (he) has unearthed an England which most people have forgotten."
Here is an excerpt from 'Evocations', the first poem in the 'Spring' chapter of the book.
'Rise and put on your foliage'.
Come, as the Green Knight to Gawain at the beginning
of the new year -
out of his oaken crevice:
lhude sing cuccu!
Move with a spring & vegetable swiftness,
seed-case & burr & tremulous grasses, a grove - vocal in the wind -
('the rustling of the leaves and
the songs of birds denoting his presence there')
('at thes day we in ye
sign call them Green Men, covered with green bones')
Posted by Andrea at 10:00