Sunday, 13 August 2017

A Camberwell Beauty

A Camberwell Beauty has been seen at Burgess Hill!

So now I want to post this poem Kingsley Amis wrote to his first wife.

Instead of an Epilogue
To H
In 1932 when I was ten
In my grandmother’s garden in Camberwell
I saw a Camberwell Beauty butterfly
Sitting on a clump of Michaelmas daisies.
I recognised it because I’d seen a picture
Showing its brownish wings with creamy edges
In a boy’s paper or on a cigarette-card
Earlier that week. And I remember thinking,
What else would you expect? Everyone knows
Camberwell Beauties come from Camberwell;
That’s why they’re called that. Yes, I was ten.
In 1940 when I was eighteen
In Marlborough, going out one winter’s morning
To walk to school, I saw that every twig,
Every leaf in the vicar’s privet hedge
And every stalk and stem was covered in
A thin layer of ice as clear as glass
Because the rain had frozen as it landed.
The sun shone and the trees and shrubs shone back
Like pale flames with orange and green sparkles.
Freak weather conditions, people said,
And one was always hearing about them.
In ’46 when I was twenty-four
I met someone harmless, someone defenceless,
But till then whole, unadapted within;
Awkward, gentle, healthy, straight-backed,
Who spoke to say something, laughed when amused;
If things went wrong, feared she might be at fault,
Whose eye I could have met for ever then,
Oh yes, and who was also beautiful.
Well, that was much as women were meant to be,
I thought, and set about looking further.
How can we tell, with nothing to compare?

Jean and I were out on the work on Saturday and we attempted to go to the Broadcast at the Hall, but something had gone wrong with the arrangements so it wasn't on.  We think most people were at the wedding on Saturday, including our keyholder and projectionist. And I drove to Angmering yet again - on Thursday - with Jennifer - our householder wants to see us again Thursday week. 
Today we went out for coffee after the meeting, and I ran Jean and Ann Marie back home afterwards. Jacks came for a fish and chip supper on Saturday night - she treated us - and lasted till 8 o'clock. So she is feeling a little better, thank God.   
We have been watching the Athletics, saying farewell to Mo Farrar and Usain Bolt.

No comments:

Post a Comment