She tells her love while half asleep

August 24, 2006 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

Robert Graves


She tells her love while half asleep,
In the dark hours,
With half-words whispered low;
As Earth stirs in her winter sleep
And puts out grass and flowers
Despite the snow,
Despite the falling snow.

How to classify Graves? A quick scan of my (mental) bookshelf reveals works of fiction (I, Claudius), memoir (Goodbye to all that), literary study (The White Goddess), mythology (The Greek Myths), translation (Suetonius’ Twelve Ceasars) and, of course, poetry.

Today’s poem has a gentle, almost Frost-like quality, a softness of touch that I find relatively rare in Graves, whose poems, in my experience, tend more towards the conversational and / or cerebral. I love the fall and swell of this poem, the lulling quality of the words enhanced by the return of the word sleep, the rhyming of low and snow, and repetition of that last line with just that one extra ‘falling’ added to make it quite perfect.



The Robert Graves Trust site, which features, in it’s multimedia section, a number of excellent recordings of Graves’ poetry by the poet himself – here, here and here.

Graves biography

Another poem with a similar quality of tenderness on Minstrels


Entry filed under: English, Falstaff, Prose Writers, Robert Graves.

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