On Sunday, from 11 to 4 at Windham High School, the Friends of the Library of Windham (FLOW) are holding their annual Strawberry Festival and Book Sale. Every year, on the Friday before, I try to find a strawberry poem to share. After several years, my pile of strawberry poems (those with at least a mention of strawberries) is getting smaller and smaller.
This year, the poem I'm sharing was written during World War I. It is an anti-war poem from 1918 by Margaret Postgate Cole.
Oh, my beloved, shall you and I
Ever be young again, be young again?
The people that were resigned said to me
--Peace will come and you will lie
Under the larches up in Sheer,
And eating strawberries and cream and cakes—
O cakes, O cakes, O cakes, from Fuller's!
And, quite forgetting there's a train to town,
Plotting in an afternoon the new curves for the world.
And peace came. And lying in Sheer
I look round at the corpses of the larches
Whom they slew to make pit-props
For mining the coal for the great armies.
And think, a pit-prop cannot move in the wind,
Nor have red manes hanging in spring from its branches,
And sap making the warm air sweet.
Though you planted it out on the hill again it would be dead.
And if these years have made you into a pit-prop,
To carry the twisting galleries of the world's reconstruction
(Where you may thank God, I suppose
That they set you the sole stay of a nasty corner)
What use is it to you? What use
To have your body lying here
In Sheer, underneath the larches?
Pretty grim for a "strawberry" poem. Never mind, FLOW will have lots of HAPPY strawberry shortcake on Sunday. Stop by! And stop by Check It Out, for this week's round-up of great poetry links.