Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Darkness in summer

The rain that has been threatening all day in gusts, in great gouts of skittering cloud, has finally arrived. The sky is so dark you can imagine it all compact with water, so dense with it, you could practically step into it as into a bath.

There is something ravishingly lovely about such moments of thick late daytime darkness and the shattering of raindrops against glass. Being inside, at my desk with an old anglepoise creating a cocoon of light, smelling the rain even through closed window and door - because I can clearly smell it - is dizzying and comforting at the same time.

Ad as I look out it seems to get ever darker, ever more a doomed, sunken, remnant blue or idigo, but indigo with depth. The window is running with rain. Nothing but silhouette outside.

It's pure poetry, this stuff:

Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville ;
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénètre mon coeur ?

Ô bruit doux de la pluie
Par terre et sur les toits !
Pour un coeur qui s'ennuie,
Ô le chant de la pluie !

Il pleure sans raison
Dans ce coeur qui s'écoeure.
Quoi ! nulle trahison ?...
Ce deuil est sans raison.

C'est bien la pire peine
De ne savoir pourquoi
Sans amour et sans haine
Mon coeur a tant de peine !


And this from the Hungarian of Zsuzsa Rakovszky (my translation)


raining raining it started
this morning summer gone out
a match dipped in water
it will fall now a long time
mad summer cools slows down
grows sluggish grey spills
across blue yellow red
brilliant now streaming down
windows damp wind behind
a great whale flounders in
the gutter its colours
oil and mud raining why
should we go out and do
things do nothing nothing
flop on the bed together your
arm under my neck for
a long time since nothing
can happen for a long time
no going out now for
a long time it will rain
now for a long time it
will rain for a long time

Gorgeous! Provide own punctuation and let it all wash together in the rain.

Which, by the way, is still going, a little prettier and lighter now, pinpricks, that's all.


The Plump said...

Bloody poets! Here I am back from Greece missing the lovely warm sun and the faint aroma of goats from the neighbours' plot. And here you are waxing lyrical about it pissing down under glowering skies.

Beaming optimism, a deep pleasure in the beauty of nature... I don't know. We're in England man - weather is for moaning about.

George S said...

I would moan if it went on for more than three hours. But then I am just back from Hungary where mean temperature was about 32C - about 7C too hot for me.

The Plump said...

32C - bliss. Perfection.

Paul Hellyer said...

You description of summer rain and the atmosphere it creates, reminded me of Rádnoti's, Bájoló. I really enjoy the sensuous 'earthiness' of that poem. (Interestingly it is was the 100th anniversary of his birth earlier this year.)

George S said...

Thanks for the communication, Paul. I have just seen your website band will be returning to it. Will link.

Dafydd John said...

Talking of darkness in summer, it's been a very sad one for us down here.





George S said...

I knew nothing about him, Dafydd, apart from hearing his name. I like the photo of him in his farmer's boiler suit and the idea of poetry as jam.

I know the bardic metres are very complicated and I know writers like Samantha Wynne-Prydderch and Gwyneth Lewis have introduced elements of them into their poems, but largely the work of the Welsh bards remains an impenetrable forest to me. I should maybe know better but I don't.