Saturday, 29 October 2011

As I Awoke One Rainy Morning!

Unfortunately I did not look like this delightful lady when I woke one morning this week! It was a very dark and rainy October morning  here in Cornwall,not romantic just miserable! Summer has  really gone , What can you do on a day like this but read poetry! Well any excuse!
I reached down Laurie Lee's Selected Poems, a book I love but have not dipped into for a while and realized I should not have neglected it.
Day Of These Days

Such a morning it is when love
leans through geranium windows
and calls with a cockerels tongue.

When red haired girls scamper like roses
over rain green grass,
and the sun drips honey.

When hedgerows grow venerable,
berries dry black as blood,
and holes suck in their bees.

Such a moring it is when mice
run whispering from the church,
dragging dropped ears of harvest.

When the partridge draws back his spring
and shoots like a buzzing arrow
over grained and mahogany fields.

When no table is bare
and no breast dry,
and the tramp feeds off  ribs of rabbit.

Such a day it is when time
piles up the hills like pumpkins,
and the streams run golden.

When all men smell good,
and the cheeks of girls
are as baked bread to the mouth.

As bread and beanflowers
the touch of their lips,
and their white teeth sweeter than cucumbers.

Laurie as a young man.Women seem to have adored him!

Laurie Lee was born in Stroud but spent his early life in Slad a small Gloucstershire village. His most famous book "Cider With Rosie" lyrically tells the the tale of his  boyhood. This is the cottage he grew up in with his family. In the story Laurie paints a tender portrait of his upbringing in comparetive poverty but rich in love and experience.

His mother would fill the house with jars of wild flowers in spring and summer,there was music and laughter as well as hardship.

He went to London at nineteen ,walking all the way and secured a job on a building site.He made extra money playing his fiddle and when he had enough put away set off for Spain. He fell in love with the country and worked his way across to Andalusia busking. When the Civil  War broke out he was forced to leave but returned via the Pyrenees to fight against Franco.

 Above all I think Laurie Lee was a great lover of life,someone who had a generous capacity for lyrical precision and  sensousness.You can almost touch and smell his writing!This picture shows him in later life having a pint in his native Slad at the local pub.
Slad Church where Laurie Lee is buried.
He  was a fascinating man and this biography by Valerie Grove gives an insight into to his complicated character.
 His poem turned my dull morning around !


  1. My, what an interseting post! I wasn't familiar wiht Laurie Lee and now want to read more of his writing. Thank you for introducing me to his work.

  2. I don't think I've ever heard of him! What a wonderful talent. Sun drips like honey...I love that!

  3. Superb post and a heart-lifting poem. Thank you Ang.

  4. How interesting!
    I had to smile, I don;t look like that when I'm asleep either, with my ear plugs in and wearing Husbands old PJ's LOL

  5. Kath ,I bet I look worse,in the nude with a fringe that has gone like "Jedward" might not be spelled right!!! Ho Ho !Do you ever marvel at the way women in films wake up looking so good. No smudgy eyes or dribble Arg!

  6. Dear Angela, here is is rainy too, luckily everywhere the foliage is as if on fire all red and golden.;)
    Lauri seems like a very sensitive soul. I am not surprised that he was adored by women, there is something infinitely vulnerable in his looks.;)
    Have a great Sunday,

  7. Such a beautiful poem and post. I will look for his work at the library.
    ~ Zuzu

  8. Thank you for sharing this. I will have to look this man up, he seems very interesting and uplifting!

  9. Thanks for the post about this interesting and talented man, Laurie Lee. I didn't know a word about him and it seems he led a very interesting life, even coming to Spain to fight against Franco! In Spain we still have some sunny days, luckily and at the moment! Hugs and kisses,

  10. I am so happy that I have introduced Laurie Lee to those who had not heard of him.To start read Cider With is a lovely book.Nieves I thought he was fairly wThanks for your well known in Spain but perhaps not!

  11. A wonderfully evocative poem.

    He had the most incredible life that only artists and writers could have had in those days. Anything was possible! Great post Angela.

    In answer to your question on the Katherine Mansfield poem. Her marriage to John Middleton Murry was indeed marred by her illness and although great friends at the beginning of their relationship, he became restless and unreliable and rarely at her side when she needed him. Her passion for him was dimmed also. I feel the poem is not for him...

    Its sad that she died so young.


  12. His poem has brightened my morning too, thank you so much. I had forgotten how much I love Laurie Lee - I would love to have known him. Cider with Rosie is one of my all time favourite books and what a wonderful poet he was too. I had never thought of visiting his home village - I must do so one day.

  13. PS
    I blogged this Laurie Lee poem back in 2007 - I just checked back on my blog as I thought it rung a bell. I have a photo of me outside McCarthy's Bar in Ireland which is so like your header pic of you outside somewhere..I shall try and dig it out. I also have one of me and my husband outside the pub in Avoca (Ballykissangel) which is very similar.