One lovely thing about poetry is the way lines will pop into your head years after you’ve read them. When I worked at The School Magazine we’d receive a letter or phone call every month or so from someone trying to locate the source of a line of poetry, or even sometimes the author of a whole poem remembered verbatim. It was gratifying to be able to help most of the time.
The first line from James Macauley’s short poem ‘Magpie‘ often pops into my head when I hear a magpie singing. The smell of earth after rain makes me think of Les Murray’s Monthly article ‘Infinite Anthology‘ (not his poem by the same name – I looked them both up); and of a line from George Herbert’s poem ‘The Flower‘ likewise makes itself known when the sky clears after rain. Today’s stanza steals from all three, plus a bonus word from Macbeth.
November verse 11: On hearing a magpie after rain The magpie's mood is never surly, never glum is petrichor. My first line comes from James McAuley – took time out from culture wars to sing the praise of liquid squabbles. Line two: Les A Murray's bauble lent to us from his great hoard when he was in non-surly mood. For when the hurlyburly's over, when the mud has all been slung and all the war songs have been sung, the bees still bumble in the clover, once more we smell the dew and rain and relish verses once again.