Monday, 23 January 2017

Poetry Revisited: After-Glow by Ivor Gurney


(from Severn & Somme: 1917)

(To F. W. Harvey)

Out of the smoke and dust of the little room
With tea-talk loud and laughter of happy boys,
I passed into the dusk. Suddenly the noise
Ceased with a shock, left me alone in the gloom,
To wonder at the miracle hanging high
Tangled in twigs, the silver crescent clear.
Time passed from mind. Time died; and then we were
Once more at home together, you and I.

The elms with arms of love wrapped us in shade
Who watched the ecstatic west with one desire,
One soul uprapt; and still another fire
Consumed us, and our joy yet greater made:
That Bach should sing for us, mix us in one
The joy of firelight and the sunken sun.

Ivor Gurney (1890-1937)
English poet and composer


  1. Romantic and sensual. Not what I usually associate with Bach but it is all in the context, no?

    1. I don't know Bach well enough to tell, but the poet certainly was familiar with his music. The larger context of this poem, however, was World War I. In that hell, an after-glow as described must have been the more impressive.

  2. Thank you for posting this lovely poem. I appreciate it very much.


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