"Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat."
The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes is a favorite ballad of mine. I love to read it, and dwell on the wonderful images. This is just the culminating stanza when the robber gets his 'just deserts' (yes, I always thought the play on words was spelled 'just desserts too, but no... just deserts), if you will. I think that Ms. Storer and her eighth grade English classroom might be a bit surprised at how far her discussion on the anti-hero in literature has taken me. Ok, even I must agree. How can looking at a stunning red iris, outside a kitchen window, transport me to an old inn yard and 'a Redcoat troop a marching, marching, marching...'?
I delivered that poem in a speech contest when I was in eighth grade! It was so long ago I don't remember if I placed but I'll never forget the poem. It's always been one of my favorites. And I don't believe I've ever seen a truly red iris. Love it!ReplyDelete
perhaps it's the wine-red velvet look of these petals.ReplyDelete
The magic time of reading a good book! :)ReplyDelete
You know so much about English literature!It's wonderful.
Do you also like to read books in other languages?
Nowadays, I'm reading only French literature to help me to improve vocabulary.It works well.
That petal does look like velvet. A gorgeous red iris. I've not seen one this color.ReplyDelete
It must the the velvet coat that did it. This flower is a beauty!ReplyDelete
I'm not sure. Take it up with your therapist. Or just drink a couple of beers and all this mental anguish will go away! :-)ReplyDelete
Re Dicks - you're right. Stupid name. But it is, you must admit, short and sweet.
Pretty photo, though!
Oh, English teachers would be so very happy . . . for that matter, any teacher . . .ReplyDelete
I have never seen that color before. Stunning!ReplyDelete
Imagination, Birdman, is everything! Incidentally, I think the flower as photographed is perfection.ReplyDelete
I've never seen a red iris either. Funny the places your mind can take you.ReplyDelete
I am one of many who has never seen a red iris! Gorgeous!ReplyDelete
It is an amazing iris. No wonder it stimulates memories in you. That and a few beers.ReplyDelete
I have Arlo Guthrie's cover of this burned into my memory. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear...ReplyDelete
I have never seen an iris in that beautiful red color. I wonder if you know what the name is. I would order some for the garden. Great poem too.ReplyDelete
Oh, how I would love to have that red iris in my tiny yard.ReplyDelete
I used to have it memorized as well. Funny how a few of the old poems stick in our head. This one had such rhythm to it. Lovely photo.ReplyDelete
Your wonderful, wonderful text always makes me wish I could be a better writer, Bird. And this red iris makes me wish I'd been there to have a try at photographing it with you, although I'll say, I couldn't begin to beat this shot.ReplyDelete
That is an interesting poem. Have you seen Anne of Green Gables? She recites that very part and it is so moving.ReplyDelete