I remember, I remember

A nice, relaxing tea today. It’s called Apple Cider, and not only have we had it before, we own a whole tin of the stuff. It’s a nice herbal blend that is supposed to channel mulled apple cider. (The non-alcoholic kind, for reference.)

Now, although we own a tin of this tea, we’ve never actually run out because lovely as this is – the apple and the cinnamon are very much present in the taste – it’s just too sweet to be herbal. Cf yesterday’s post about the herbal tea of choice and how it ,too, needed some kind of underlying tea blend for emphasis. This isn’t about imbalance so much though as emphasis. Ever added lemon to Earl Grey? Or maybe you’ve added milk to a tea with chocolate in? Some things simply help to bring out existing tastes, and we get the sense that this would taste even more like mulled cider with a green tea underneath. Or maybe we’re just nostalgic for Mom’s Apple Pie, the green tea that stole our hearts and was apple crumble in a cup. It was a glorious thing, universe, and no aspiring tisane, however good, can hold a candle to it.

In the spirit of waxing nostalgic, then, here’s a poem that revels in it. It’s by D. H. Lawrence but it uses a metre we’ve only ever before seen in Hardy. Now, the internet assures us that it uses a popular hymn metre, alternating tochees and iambics, and that would make sense; haven’t we said before you can sing any Hardy to any hymn tune? Well, we’ve tried with Lawrence and his nostalgia and it defies a range of beloved hymn melodies. In fact, the poem we think it most echoes is Woman Much Missed, which is just about the one Thomas Hardy piece you’d be hard pressed to sing. But go on, pour out your tea, have a read, and then a wee sing. Did we miss a hymn tune that works? Does it do better as a nursery rhyme? We’d love to hear what you think!

D.H. Lawrence

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appasionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the floor of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.


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