May the singing never be done

The sun came out,

the sky turned blue.

Blue

Blue

We fled the coop,

for warm, wide spaces

Warm wide space

Warm, wide space

where spring unfurled,

Spring unfurled

Spring unfurled

and our spirits

took flight.

Spitfire TE 288, Replica, Christchurch Airporthttp://jamesevansjenkins.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/the-christchurch-brevet-club/

Spitfire TE 288, Replica, , gift to the Brevet Club Memorial Avenue, Christchurch.

We felt good, like Lynley’s tui,

The tui sings for all to hear; with thanks to Lynley at ordinarygoodnesshttps://ordinarygood.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/tui-atop-a-pohutukawa-tree-today/ for permission to use her beautiful photo

The tui sings for all to hear; with thanks to Lynley at ordinarygoodness for permission to use her beautiful photo.

singing with all its heart, atop the pohutukawa tree.

Everyone Sang
Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on; on; and out
of sight.
Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted,
And beauty came like the setting sun.
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away……O but every one
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the
singing will never be done.

Siegfried Sassoon  (from Palgrave’s Golden Treasury with Additional Poems, OUP, 1935)

This post is dedicated:

to gpcox, pacificparatrooper  who gathers in the stories of veterans and sends them out again, flying with spirit renewed, into the blogosphere;

and

to  Britt, life/history enthusiast, spreading her literary wings with her latest published book, NOLA FRAN EVIE,

BUT the dedication to Britt comes with a proviso…..that she locates the original  Totem Pole by Chief Lelooska in Portland. Here’s a clue, Britt. 🙂

Friendship Totem Pole,  Christchurch Airport

Friendship Totem Pole,
Christchurch Airport

© silkannthreades

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104 thoughts on “May the singing never be done

  1. Pingback: The Totem Pole Quest | a physical perspective

  2. Pingback: The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Gallivanta | silkannthreades

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It was a beautiful day for photos. It’s much the same today but I don’t know if I will get out to take photos…too busy catching up with laundry. 😦

      Reply
  3. shoreacres

    I rarely come across any reference to Sassoon, but with the anniversary of WWI at hand, he’s getting more mention — as he should. I barely can read some of his poems, but we need to read them. Trench warfare may lie in the past, but there are analogs today, and human experience is human experience, whatever the differences in the setting.

    That totem pole just stopped me! I thought: what? In Christchurch? What am I missing? Well, I did some link-following, and have sorted it out. Who could have imagined that Operation Deep Freeze was involved? I did enjoy the article about Chief Lelooska. A wise man, he was, and filled with the sort of wisdom that every artist would do well to heed.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Did you happen to read the comment from Steve Schwartzman? He has an excellent link to a WW1 exhibition site, which, in turn, links to a New York Times article on the exhibition and the poets featured in the exhibition. One of the poets featured is Sassoon. I hadn’t read Sassoon for ages but I am glad the book ‘fell open’ at his poem. It made me think of the Lark Ascending which I then added to my sidebar.
      The totem pole is looking wonderful now that it has been painted and restored. It has quite a story, doesn’t it?

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I love a coincidence.Did you see in my comment to Letizia how I chanced upon the Sassoon poem? I enjoyed your link, as well as another link on that site to a NY Times’ article about the exhibition. In our southern city, Dunedin, there will be a similar exhibition which will feature a roll of honour of all the people from Otago who died in WW One. My great-uncle is on that roll. You may like to listen to this interview by way of comparison with the exhibition you saw in Texas. http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20143260

      Reply
      1. Steve Schwartzman

        I hadn’t seen your comment to Letizia, but of course I’ve read it now and appreciate the extra wrinkle of coincidence, especially if the book that you opened at random contained works by people other than Sassoon.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Indeed it did have other works. The book contains about 350 poems and only one by Sassoon. Just as I don’t know how to identify honey bees and native bees ( 😦 ), I also don’t know how to calculate the chances of the book opening at the page for Sassoon. There are 600 pages in the book!

      2. Steve Schwartzman

        Assuming the Sassoon poem occupied only one page, then the chances of your having opened to that page are about 1 in 600, which is to say one-sixth of one percent. Small indeed.

        Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Sheri. GP curates a fine blog. I particularly like the farewell salutes. The blossom was lovely to see. And, today, I am delighted to see a little yellow crocus has appeared in my garden. The first for the year. 🙂

      Reply
      1. restlessjo

        That reminds me of something. I was out walking and a very elderly lady had stopped to admire some wild roses in the hedge. ‘I’m just going to take a cutting’ she said, when I paused alongside. She struggled for a while, as she had such weak wrists, and I felt bound to lend a hand. Two or three ‘cuttings’ later she ambled off, smiling to herself. I wasn’t sure if I’d done the right thing or not, but I’d made an old lady happy! 🙂

        Reply
  4. ordinarygood

    With more attention to your post I notice that you have chosen a different way of photographing the white blossom……rather like my kowhai bush photo…..more to it than meets the eye at first glance…..lovely stuff:-)

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah well done! You see how observant you are. 😀 Of course, the only thing missing is a bird. The birds, sparrows and blackbirds were about, but I failed to get a photograph.

      Reply
      1. ordinarygood

        Check for possible photo-bombing birds aka my sparrow behind Mr Tui:-)
        The blossom was a special treat for me in this raw winter. Bitter here again today and more rain….

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Bitter here again, but no rain. And now there is red sky, so perhaps we will be free of rain tomorrow as well. Photo-bombing birds….LOL.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Blue skies are uplifting. That one day of beautiful blue got me through the next day of gloom and grey. Thanks for liking the images. Did your camera eye see what I did with the second photo with the white blossom?

      Reply
  5. BEAUTYCALYPSE

    Spring has sprung? I looooove how you put together pictures and words, and then the laconic image captions – delicious!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Spring is on its way; not yet fully sprung. And I do like the way WordPress gives me the opportunity to play with text and images. Suits my multi-dimensional thought patterns. 😀

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I do have that hope! But I am also suddenly aware of the not so delightful aspects of spring…….POLLEN. A big wattle tree at the end of the street is in bloom and that’s making me wheeze. 😦

      Reply
  6. gpcox

    Thank you so much for this, Gallivanta. And also to Mrs P., not only for mentioning my site, but Pierre’s and Lemuel’s – two excellent historians! This is getting printed out and I might not ever stop smiling!!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Glad you are smiling. I was hoping to visit the Air Force Museum on that day, too, but ran out of time. That will have to wait for another day.

      Reply
  7. Mélanie

    magnifique post, as usually… btw, I love to fly and I have NO fear, inspite of all the plane crashes… the rainbow totem has reminded me of Vancouver, BC(Canada) and Hokkaido, Japan… 🙂 we say in French: la boucle est bouclée – the loop(circle) is closed. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Miss M, you are quite right to pick up the totem connections with Vancouver and Hokkaido. By the way, did you ever take a ride in an acrobatic plane where they loop the loop? I have not but my brother has.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks Maureen. My first blossom shot of the about-to-be spring. I was pleased the branch stayed still long enough for me to capture the flowers.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It is definitely in the air, Ute. I could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw the blossom but, as you see, I have documentary proof that I wasn’t dreaming.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Indeed, it was gorgeous, and, although we did spread our wings, we didn’t go as far as the birds in my garden who indulged in some outdoor bathing. Still a bit nippy for that sort of thing. 😀

      Reply
  8. Tiny

    The spring flowers and warm spaces look wonderful! And the airport totem pole is beautifully restored. May the wordless song that will never be done… continue!

    Reply
  9. ordinarygood

    Thank you for that evocative poem by Sassoon. So filled with hope and upliftment against the News and the personal grief(s) and the bitter cold that seems so juxtaposed to spring flowers and birds a-courting and blue sky. BTW Atop that Pohutukawa tree does seem to be a wooing site – more charming songs and sweet warblings this morning. His lady was coy so a challenge has been laid down:-))

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hope my post, accompanied by the morning chorus, has gotten your day off to a good start. We have sunshine today, thank goodness. Your tui is obviously doing his bit to make sure the singing continues via his progeny. 🙂 On my sidebar I posted a copy of a painting by Rita Angus which is about spring and renewal. However, the painting I really wanted to put there was this one, http://warart.archives.govt.nz/node/71 , Peter McIntyre’s, Two New Zealand Tuis, 1944 I was not sure about copyright, so decided not to risk posting it. I know Tui was a popular name for a girl, but I love that our WAACs in WW2 were known as Tuis. My greetings to you and your Tui family.

      Reply
      1. ordinarygood

        Yes a good start to the day thank you. I did enjoy the painting on your side bar.

        There is much Tui singing around me as I type and I have just learnt via the work of Rod Morris and Alison Ballance in their book ” Beautiful birds of NZ” that the collective noun for Tui is an “ecstasy of Tui.” Very apt. I imagine our WAACs in WW2 sang beautifully at times to boost spirits.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          “An ecstasy of Tui”……that is so very perfect. I feel ecstatic just knowing that. Thank you. You made my day. 🙂

        2. ordinarygood

          Is it not perfect for the songsters? I have just managed to get a photo of our alpha male sitting in the Magnolia tree with his “wife”??…..they look very companionable. Tricky light, tricky angles, big leaves and their edgy energy means it is not the clearest photo and within seconds a rival flew in and disrupted the homely scene. It is very busy in the garden today. Here’s hoping the Tui will populate your environs very soon and spread more ecstasy!

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, I hope that day comes sooner rather than later. I admire your photographic dedication. I have yet to get one even remotely decent photo of a bird.

  10. Mrs. P

    Ha! As soon as I saw the first image I thought of Gpox and one other who has done so much to recognize the Spitfire…Pierre Lagace at Lest We Forget.

    http://athabaskang07.wordpress.com/

    You might also be interested in the fact that he recently shared a post from the History Geek titled, What to do if New Zealand is Invaded.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks for the link Mrs P. I did see the post ‘What to do if New Zealand is Invaded”. I found it particularly interesting because my grandfather was a defence warden for his area during WW2. History Geek gave me an idea of what my grandfather was supposed to do in the event of an invasion!

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          It was, especially as I didn’t even know about my grandfather’s role until after he died. Just found a notebook in his desk about it.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Isn’t it a lovely poem? And so strange how I found it. I rediscovered an old book of my father’s at the weekend. As I was working on my post, I opened the book at a random page and that was the poem on the page. Couldn’t have found anything more suited to my post. Added to which, my father was in the New Zealand Air Force during World War Two. Everything fell in to place so perfectly. I wanted to sing!

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sassoon breaks your heart and mends it, all at the same time. I thought that was a great challenge, since I am unlikely to get to Portland myself. 😉 Now, there’s a thought, I may set up a challenge for you in Dunedin….think, think, think.. 😀

      Reply
  11. The Twisted Yarn

    A beautiful post. (And I love reading about the changing seasons across the world. We’re in high summer here and everything’s getting a bit yellowed and wilted, so it’s lovely to see pictures of fresh spring blooms.)

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Hope the ‘yellow’ and ‘wilted’ doesn’t apply to you and the Twinnage. 😀 The fresh spring blooms were a wonderful surprise. The tree is in a very sheltered spot, so was probably misled in to thinking the weather was warmer than it actually is.

      Reply
  12. Britt Skrabanek

    Thanks for the shout-out. What a fascinating connection between New Zealand and Oregon! It took me a little while to research the locale, but the original appears to be at the zoological gardens from what I can tell. I’ll have to check it out! : )

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Isn’t it amazing to have this physical and spiritual connection between Christchurch and Portland! If you get to see the original totem, do post a photo or send it to my email. I am ever so curious. I didn’t realise until very recently that the totem pole was from Portland, but it has fascinated me from my very earliest years. Every time we came on home leave to Christchurch (from Fiji), the totem pole and the spitfire were the two structures I was always sure to check on; to see if they were still in place. That was all I needed to know as a child; that they were there.

      Reply
  13. The Hopeful Herbalist

    We visited the little cemetery in Dunure where there is a very small war graves memorial. The young men are all air force men from Australia and New Zealand and other overseas personnel.
    I love that poem too…

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hesitated a bit with this post, with its aviation themes, in light of recent air tragedies, but I decided that it is at times like this that we need hope more than ever.

      Reply
  14. YellowCable

    The “spring unfurled” is gorgeous. I really like how they stood up the Spritfire, it looks like the plane is actually flying by. Your last picture of it looks great!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you YC. I like the way the plane is positioned, too. I don’t know how many people actually notice it because it is on a very busy intersection. The flowers, the blossoms, nearby were beautiful.

      Reply

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