Summer/Autumn 1779


This is the second part of a two-part poem based on the journals of Gilbert White. He was an 18th century clergyman, who became the founding father of natural history in England. He was interested in everything, from flies in the kitchen to sunsets. He had a superb eye, and natural writing skill. His book – ” The Natural History of Selborne” was compiled from his daily journals, and has never been out of print.

This poem, like the one before

See here:
is made up of lines taken from his daily journals.

As I said before- I didn’t grow the flowers, I just arranged them in the vase.

Things freeze in the pantry.
Storm cock sings. Rock-like clouds.
A sudden thaw and paths get dry.
Snow all day, but melts as it falls.
Crocus make a gallant show. Green woodpecker
starts to laugh. Last night I heard the short quick note of birds
flying in the dark.

Nightingale sings; wood owl hoots; fern owl chatters.
Oats are sown. Apple trees well blown.
Timothy the tortoise comes out of the ground.
Wheat thrives.

When we call through the speaking trumpet to Timothy
he does not seem to regard the noise.
He retires under the rhubarb leaves.

Wheat housed.
Distant thunder.Distant lightning. Distant showers.
Vast rain for many hours.
Sharp air. Some few flakes of snow.

Timothy gone underground in the laurel hedge.


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