Monday, August 29, 2005

Random Literary Moment

Walter de la Mare's "The Listeners" has always vaguely reminded me of Alfred Noyes' "The Highwayman". Perhaps it's the imagery and overwhelming tones of mystery and silence that words like "phantom" and "moonlight" evoke. Or it could just be the fact that travellers, horses and ghosts are involved. =) At any rate, I think some of the most beautifully alliterative lines are these poems.

from "The Listeners":
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.

from "The Highwayman":
And still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs . . .

No idea why these popped into my head on a Monday morning! Maybe it's the staring out across Puget Sound, through the harbor mist. Or just cabin fever.

Oh! AHA! The random reference last night to Anne of Green Gables! (Anne recites "The Highwayman." The L.M. Montgomery heroine came up in a discussion about Dickens' Oliver Twist, after a karaoke performance from Oliver the musical.) Whew! Not just random spazzing on a Monday morning...