Joyce Grenfell, 10 February 1910 - 30 November 1979, is known and loved mainly for her comic monologues. Her most famous catch phrase, “George, don´t do that!” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXhHFgDRNBQ ) is instantly recognisable to all her fans. What I didn´t know until today is the fact that she wrote some of the most beautifully evocative nature poetry I´ve ever heard. I say “heard” because the following poem was never published and I´ve only just heard it on BBC radio. Luckily, it was on the Listen Again feature so I was able to write it down. I´m sure you´ll agree that it captures the very spirit of Spring.
Taut as a tent the heavenly dome is blue,
Uncrossed by cloud or tossing twig or plane,
A measureless span infinitely new,
To fill the eye and lift the heart again.
Deep in the wintered earth the shock is felt.
Glossy sweet aconite has shown her gold,
And strong straight crocus spears where late we knelt,
To lodge their bulbs are waiting to unfold.
The ragged rooks like tea leaves in the sky,
Straggle towards the earth with awkward grace.
A robin in a silver birch nearby,
Thrusts up his carol through the naked lace.
I´ve known this day for thirty years and more.
It will go on as it has done before.
You were right, Joyce. It has.