My destiny to behold

Poetry month, Thomas Wyatt, and more reminiscences of the time when I first ‘met’ him:

I first read his work when I was studying for my degree, in my first year. Up until then, the way we had been taught to appreciate poetry actually didn’t teach us to appreciate it at all! I had always loved poetry and had tried to write poems from being quite a young child… my efforts were pretty hopeless for the most part, but I just loved language and the way it could be worked.

Doing my degree I suddenly saw the poetry I loved in a completely different way… and even now,after so many years, when I think of Thomas Wyatt’s poetry, I am taken back to those sunny autumn days in the concrete tower that was the College of Commerce of Manchester Polytechnic.

Some fowls there be that have so perfect sight
Again the sun their eyes for to defend;
And some because the light doth them offend
Do never ‘pear but in the dark or night.
Other rejoice that see the fire bright
And ween to play in it, as they do pretend,
And find the contrary of it that they intend.
Alas, of that sort I may be by right,
For to withstand her look I am not able
And yet can I not hide me in no dark place,
Remembrance so followeth me of that face.
So that with teary eyen, swollen and unstable,
My destiny to behold her doth me lead,
Yet do I know I run into the gleed.

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