Thursday, June 3, 2010

Home Thoughts, from Abroad, a poem by Robert Browning

Post 500 - Can this really be the 500th post? Every weekday, since June 3rd, 2008, I’ve posted thoughts, tips, strategies, ideas and poems in the hope of helping people create a better workplace and a more fulfilling life. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together. If you have any thoughts about what you’d like to read about here in the future, let me know at And please help me celebrate this milestone by forwarding my blog to your friends and colleagues. I’m always looking to expand the reader base.

My daughter's moving to London next week to continue her career in the film business. I'm glad I had London as my playground for four years when I was a young man and I trust she'll also have a wonderful experience there. We'll miss her but we look forward to visiting her often.

Here's a poem about England by Robert Browning (1812 – 1889), one of the most famous Victorian poets, written when Browning was living in Italy. In 1845, Browning met another poet, Elizabeth Barrett, who lived as a semi-invalid in her father's house in London. Gradually a significant romance developed between them, leading to their secret marriage and flight to Italy in 1846. The Brownings lived first in Pisa before finding an apartment in Florence at Casa Guidi, which is now a museum to their memory. In 1849, at the age of 43, Elizabeth gave birth to a son, Robert Wiedemann Barrett Browning, whom they called Pen. Their son later married but had no legitimate children. However, it's rumored that the areas around Florence are peopled with his descendants!

Home Thoughts, from Abroad, by Robert Browning.

O, to be in England
Now that April 's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom'd pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge -
That 's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
- Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Bon voyage, Alysia.

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