Friday, December 13, 2013

Poetry Friday: Time for a bit of Walter De La Mare

From time to time, I find myself longing for a taste of Peacock Pie - one of my favorite books of poetry, written by Walter de la Mare. I've posted poems from it twice here at the Drift Record, both times for Poetry Friday, once last March and once way back in September of 2008. All I need to do, when I've pulled Peacock Pie down from the shelf, is find a couch, a blanket, a mug of cocoa, and have nothing in the world to do but enjoy the moment:

Dream Song

Sunlight, moonlight,
     Twilight, starlight---
Gloaming at the close of day,
     And an owl calling,
     Cool dews falling
In a wood of oak and may.

     Lantern-light, taper-light,
     Torchlight, no-light:
Darkness at the shut of day,
     And lions roaring,
     Their wrath pouring
In wild waste places far away.

     Elf-light, bat-light,
     Touchwood-light and toad-light,
And the sea a shimmering gloom of grey,
     And a small face smiling
     In a dream's beguiling
In a world of wonders far away.

                                 --Walter de la Mare

Not sure exactly why, but the effect this poem has on me resembles the experience of eating peppermint bark candy in December - maybe because both are just a little different from the normal sweet treat: they're sugary but they have some snap, they're layered - it's that crushed-candy-cane element, unexpected - and then there's white chocolate, dark chocolate, just sweet enough.
I know, that's a weird thing to say, but the two things - a Romantic Imagination and peppermint bark candy - converge.

Walter de la Mare 1873-1956
You can learn a little more about Walter de la Mare over at The Poetry Foundation and - who knew? - at The Official Walter de la Mare Society Website.
This week's Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by Tabatha Yeatts over at The Opposite of Indifference. Head over there to see what other people are posting.


  1. So many different types of light. I'm particularly fond of the "elf-light" stanza. I hope you're enjoying some bark today!

  2. Julie, thanks so much for this sweet treat! Walter de la Mare always lifts my spirits!

  3. Of course I'm now craving some peppermint bark and want a copy of De La Mare's book. Thanks for this treat of a post!

  4. Bat-light and toad-light -- so perfectly they conjure those times of day. What a delightful poem, and the insight into your favorite things is a delight, too!

  5. P.S. The Kindle version of this book is free on Amazon. WOOT!

  6. Oh, that is good to know, Keri, because a good used copy is sometimes hard to find. Thanks!

  7. What a satisfying, tasty post! Isn't it a shame that people don't say "gloaming" any more?

    I have fixed a couple of batches of peppermint bark this season, and people's reactions have been very gratifying -- they get so excited.

  8. It's all that snap, crunch & sweet, Tabatha!And I agree about "gloaming" - what a lovely lost word.

  9. I like the way your mind works, Ms. Julie Larios!

    Oh, and I WILL find occasion to use the word gloaming over the next week. I take this on as a personal challenge!

  10. This poem gets more delightful with each stanza. "Elf-light, touchwood-light!" Thanks for introducing me to this poet. Peppermint bark to top of the sweetness!

  11. I couldn't wait to see how these two would converge! SWEET!! (And now I have a craving for peppermint bark, thank you very much!!)

  12. Isn't it funny how our brains make these connections? I love the final image in this poem: "And a small face smiling/In a dream's beguiling/In a world of wonders far away." Thanks so much for sharing this!