Week 249: Yesterday Lost, by Ivor Gurney

The artist John Constable once wrote ‘The world is wide: no two days are alike, nor even two hours; neither are there ever two leaves of a tree alike since the creation of the world’

I think he would approved of this little poem by Ivor Gurney (1890-1937) on a similar theme. As with many of Gurney’s poems, the syntax may seem a bit odd in places, but the individuality and sincerity of the man shine through. Who else, except perhaps Gerard Manley Hopkins, could have written that ‘precise unpraisèd grace’?

Yesterday Lost

What things I have missed today, I know very well,
But the seeing of them each next day is miracle.
Nothing between Bredon and Dursley has
Any day yesterday’s precise unpraisèd grace.
The changed light, or curve changed mistily,
Coppice, now bold cut, yesterday’s mystery.
A sense of mornings, once seen, for ever gone,
Its own for ever: alive, dead, and my possession.

Ivor Gurney


2 thoughts on “Week 249: Yesterday Lost, by Ivor Gurney

    • Yes, Cotswolds country, a beautiful area. I walked the Cotswold Way one hot summer week in 1989: it’s country you can shuffle through knee-deep in history and literary associations like autumn leaves.

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