Sunday, 30 April 2017

Silent, their men stand by

Dear Reader,


                                                              A group of women friends from all over the world

It is strange, isn't it, how men are baffled at women's ability to talk to other women whom they do not know at all?  Maybe they have just run into them somewhere, as at a bus stop, in the supermarket, or on the street itself.  Staying in a hotel one year I became friendly with the young girl who came to clean the room.  She was Moroccan and spoke no English except for "good morning" and I, in my turn, spoke no Arabic.  But we got on a treat, we laughed together, and when we left I think a tear could be seen on our cheeks when we said goodbye.  My husband was rather bemused by this exchange by two disparate women from different cultures and lands, who managed to become friends without a language in common.

I thought you might enjoy this entry from the diary of Francis Kilvert (1840-79) for 30th April 1874, as I did today over a cup of tea.  He was going to visit the celebrated poet, William Barnes, in Fordington, Dorset.

"Up at 6 o'clock, breakfast at 6.30, and left Chippenham by the 7.15 train.  It was a glorious morning, fresh and exhilarating, as I started on my journey and the unclouded sky shone with a splendid blue over the brilliant green elms and the rich warm golden brown of the oaks.  The elms performed a solemn dance circling each of the fine Church Towers of Somerset as we sped into Dorset by the windings of the Frome and the elms of Castle Cary.  And then the high downs began to rise and we seemed to breathe the sweet salt air as soon as we saw the bold white chalk cliffs that look to the blue sea."

This is his description of the old poet: "He wore a dark grey loose gown girt round the waist with a black cord and tassel, black knee breeches, black silk stockings and gold buckled shoes.  He had an Apostolic head, bald and venerable, and the long soft silvery hair flowed on his shoulders and a long white beard fell upon his breast.  His face was handsome and striking, keen yet benevolent, the finely pencilled eyebrows still dark and a beautiful benevolent loving look lighted up his fine dark blue eyes half hermit, half enchanter."


Silent, Their Men Stand By

as universal woman talks
with women
who are not friends,
or neighbours,
or women they know or love,
just women.

The bondage thread
is laughter, touch, glance, cry,
instant understanding.

While silent, mystified, their men stand by.


With very best wishes, Patricia

PS.   Just continuing the thread about seagulls, I see the public in Cornwall have been warned officially not to feed them.  If caught feeding them, a large fine will be issued on the spot.  So, no sandwiches for seagulls on your summer holiday this year, if you are going to Cornwall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a touching story of your visit to Morocco, and the poem so brief but poignant shows what a lovely human being you are. Thank you for another wonderful post. xx