Thursday, 8 August 2013

Green and Pleasant

08:00:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , , , , , 3 comments

The Song of Wandering Aengus
By William Butler Yeats

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Now, my favourite musical version of Yeats' poem is sung by 'he of the honeyed throat', Nick Hennessey. Sadly, it isn't available on Youtube for you to enjoy. You'll have to buy the album for that. It's a purchase you won't regret.

A real yearning for all that is green and lush, verdant and lively, rushes through Yeats' verse. No matter what time of year I read this poem, it transports me to that cool, fresh hazel wood. It's an escapist poem and one which speaks to me of an ideal, a place where life is irrepressible and anything is possible.

Green is abundant right now. The opulent depth of each emerald leaf draws the wandering eye into an alternative reality; one in which the water is untainted, the earth prolific and the sky unfettered by toxic fumes. I say alternative because we stand on the cusp between two worlds. There are plans to attack the ground on which we stand. The vast and much loved swathes of green, which form the hinterland of the Fylde's shores, are to be drilled and broken.Our sweet, clean water is at risk of pollution. Gases plundered from beneath our feet are to be released and burned.

I don't know if fracking will poison our water supply. I only know it has done so elsewhere. I don't know if fracking will weaken fault lines or cause significant earthquakes. I only know it has done so elsewhere. I don't know if the fracking wells will break, leaking chemicals into the ground. I only know they have done so before.

Green should be the colour of verges, hedgerows and woodland. It should not be the colour of faces and it should not be the colour that passes between those at the top while they risk our heritage and future for momentary power.

Yeats would undoubtedly have been a supporter of the Frack Off movement. When they come to risk our green and pleasant, where will you stand?



Standard said...

One of the more eloquent posts I've seen about fracking (I'm not talking about this blog, before I offend other fracking bloggers. I'm referencing Facebook)

I've been talking with friends who are regularly protesting but the problem as I see it is that if over a million people in the streets couldn't stop the Iraq war, there doesn't seem any hope at all. As one book that's on my reading list puts it, we're living in A Very British Oligarchy - I don't believe democracy truly exists anymore. There's certainly no honesty in politics and I don;t think the actions of the masses can amount to anything until there's guns involved. But it's ok, we've got Sky TV. Keep watching the nice men in their shiny kits and forget about it all...

Whoa sorry. Bit much for 8am. BTW when Yeats said he would 'Take her hands' I initially thought he meant 'take' her hands, if you know what I mean? Sick bastard!

Ashley R Lister said...

I hope to God people see sense about the horror that is fracking. Quite how this could have looked like a good idea to anyone beggars belief.

Perhaps it's a good job it's only happening in 'desolate' areas that no one cares about.


vicky ellis said...

Quote from the end of Edward Bond's 'The Worlds':

How long can we go on like this? Yet we sit here as if we had all the time in the world. All of us: we sit.
When they ask me to condemn terror I shall say: no. You have no right to ask. You are a terrorist.