Comparing her to a falcon…

This blog post is dedicated to Harriet – my good friend and colleague who is always reciting poems to me and trying to get me interested in literature… well here we go!

It’s been a rather occupied week. I am exhausted!

I’m not feeling my usual self – it’s possible that I’ve been stretching myself to much. Tomorrow will finish a long week of split morning/evening shifts between different libraries, as well as full day volunteering at a very busy family fun day with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust (more to come on that). On the plus side, I will be earning a bit more as my colleagues and I have  ‘leveled up’ at work this week and for me that means an increase of around 20% in my monthly wages. It’s going to make quite a difference!

I do have some other more exciting news – I am going to be involved in a new project as a volunteer trying to find pine marten presence on the Yorkshire Moors using camera traps. I can’t wait to start training and get stuck in. So that’s little personal update. I will be writing separate posts about both Wednesday’s family fun day ‘Lark In The Park’ and the Yorkshire Pine Marten Project so keep an eye out if you’re interested.

In the mean time, I just wanted to share this beautiful poem that I came across while moving some stock at the library today. It’s from a book called ‘The Love Sonnets of Proteus’ by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. The book I found it in is a beautiful first edition dated 1881 with a wonderful, emotive frontispiece plate engraved by the author himself.

The poem is entitled ‘To Manon, comparing her to a falcon’.  Generally I’m not one for poetry but this verse really struck a chord with me. I think it describes perfectly a wild bird and a woman perceived that way.

To Manon,

Comparing Her To A Falcon

Brave as a falcon and as merciless,

With bright eyes watching still the world, thy prey,

I saw thee pass in thy lonely majesty,

Untamed, unmated, high above the press.

The dull crowd gazed at thee. It could not guess

The secret of thy proud aerial way,

Or read in thy mute face the soul which lay

A prisoner there in chains of tenderness.

– Lo, though art captured. In my hand to-day

I hold thee, and awhile thou deignest to be

Pleased with my jesses. I would feign beguile

My foolish heart to think though lovest me. See,

I dare not love thee quite. A litte while

And thou shalt sail back heavenwards. Woe is me!

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It’s very dramatic and the chapter goes on with 9 other poems ‘To The Same’ describing ‘her waywardness’; ‘her lightheartedness; ‘her vanity’; and ‘the power of her beauty’ among other titles. Heartbreakingly, the next poem in the sequence is called ‘He Has Fallen From The Height of His Love.’

I wonder what happened?

It’s strange how finding something as simple as a nice poem, or spotting a pretty butterfly can lift my mood! But while we’re on the subject of birds of prey I’d like to remind you that Monday 10th August is Hen Harrier Day. This beautiful bird is in danger of extinction if we don’t do something about it. There are quite a few events going on up and down the country to raise awareness and funds for the appeal. You can find out more information about the campaign here, and if you are inclined donate here.

All images subject to copyright. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the view of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for whom I volunteer, or any other organisation.


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