Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Butterflies of Egdon Heath

Lulworth Skipper, Thymelicus acteon
We are in the throes of the butterfly season now - they are bursting out all over - flying flowers, every one.    I just came across an interesting bit of butterfly history in "Thomas Hardy, The Time-Torn Man" - the biography by Claire Tomalin.

She is discussing his book The Return of the Native, and talks about Hardy's "usual loving attention to details of natural history", and goes on to say that "he (Hardy) writes confidently, for instance, of the 'strange amber-coloured butterflies which Egdon produced, and which were never seen elsewhere' that 'alighted on Clym's bowed back, and sported with the glittering point of his hook, as he flourished it up and down'".

Apparently they were Lulworth Skippers.

I have always loved his poetry - and "The Mayor of Casterbridge".  But I am liking him a lot as I read the bio - and feel sad that he and Emma could not have made each other much happier than they did.

It has impelled me to go to my poetry shelf and get out my collected poems, and find one for my blog. This is one that Claire Tomalin drew my attention to. I don't think I had read it before.

                   Thomas Hardy

One without looks in tonight
       Through the curtain-chink
From the sheet of glistening white ;
One without looks in to-night
       As we sit and think
       By the fender brink.

We do not discern those eyes
       Watching in the snow ;
Lit by lamps of rosy dyes
We do not discern those eyes
       Wondering, aglow,
       Fourfooted, tiptoe.

The Team of Cathy and Sue rode out this morning and had a lovely time on the door to door work.  I took her to see Mike again, and he says he is very impressed with the Society's website.   And Cathy really comforted a lady who said she was no longer able to have any belief in God - and left her with a publication showing her why the world is so full of cruelty and injustice - and what God is going to do about it!

I hope that Thomas Hardy and Emma will be woken up then - when Paradise is being restored - and that they will see this lovely world again.

No comments:

Post a Comment