Friday, 9 October 2009

Falling Asleep

Today I am posting a favourite poem, evocative of autumn and the English countryside and as good a description of falling asleep as I can think of. Siegfried Sassoon (who was English in spite of his name - his mother loved Wagner) was a First World War poet, and there are also undertones of the war in this beautiful poem.

Falling Asleep
Siegfried Sassoon

Voices moving about in the quiet house:
Thud of feet and a muffled shutting of doors:
Everyone yawning.  Only the clocks are alert.

Out in the night there’s autumn-smelling gloom
Crowded with whispering trees; across the park
A hollow cry of hounds like lonely bells:
And I know that the clouds are moving across the moon;
The low, red, rising moon. Now herons call
And wrangle by their pool; and hooting owls
Sail from the wood above pale stooks of oats.

Waiting for sleep, I drift from thoughts like these;
And where today was dream-like, build my dreams.
Music … there was a bright white room below,
And someone singing a song about a soldier,
One hour, two hours ago: and soon the song
Will be ‘last night’; but now the beauty swings
Across my brain, ghost of remembered chords
Which still can make such radiance in my dream
That I can watch the marching of my soldiers,
And count their faces; faces, sunlit faces.

Falling asleep …. the herons, and the hounds ….
September in the darkness; and the world
I’ve known, all fading past me into peace.

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