Week 139: My Father’s Birthday, by Kathleen Raine

A sad poem, but turning most beautifully on one poignant image in its closing lines.

My Father’s Birthday

15 March 1880

He remained silent on many things,
In his last years, he could not speak of
To wife or daughter who had never shared
Memories or hopes nearest his heart. Only with children he could
Share the simplicity of receiving from God
With gladness what each day brought,
The morning sun, the task he never refused.
His month was windy March, when coltsfoot flowers
Open their bright disks to receive the sun, or close
Against the chill and cloud of a harsh season.
On my childhood my father shone like an early sun,
Who in his old age closed his rays against the cold
Climate of a loveless house.

Kathleen Raine

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