Thursday, April 18, 2019

Poem For A Thursday: Cornford

Heart of the heartless world,
Dear heart, the thought of you
Is the pain at my side,
The shadow that chills my view. 
The wind rises in the evening,
Reminds that autumn is near.
I am afraid to lose you,
I am afraid of my fear. 
On the last mile to Huesca,
The last fence for our pride,
Think so kindly, dear, that I
Sense you at my side. 
And if bad luck should lay my strength
Into the shallow grave,
Remember all the good you can;
Don't forget my love.
-John Cornford

John Cornford was an English volunteer for the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War. He was twenty when he wrote this, and bad luck did come by to lay him into the shallow grave, not at the battle of Huesca, but not long after. 

I first found this at The Guardian's Poem of the Week some years ago. The poet Carol Rumens who writes that column has more information, plus some analysis of the poem when she featured it.

Jennifer is featuring Wendell Berry this week.

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