Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I found a wonderful vintage book, "Pomegranates From an English Garden," by Robert Browning published circa 1885. The small book has a green cover and can viewed in the photo above.

The book is inscribed in a lovely handwriting and signed Lucile Mahoney from Sarah A. Clark, Nov. 39-25. As wonderful as this volume of poetry is, a letter I found tucked inside the book is another treasure.

I hope that the gentle soul of Sarah Clark, who left her intimate thoughts inside this small text of immortality, will forgive me for sharing it with others. I hope you enjoy it as I did.

Dear Lucille,

After finding this book I wanted to look over it again. I was pleased to note the preface has explanations for each poem and by conning these carefully, one can enter more readily into Brownings spirit and play of words. I hope this little book will be one of a nucleus for your private library. The books you read and the ones selected for your little library divulge one's character, which you now have in your own hands to make or to mar.

As the saying is you must put your shoulder to the wheel now, and overcome difficulties and then difficulties. I would suggest you master the details of your subjects, then, on "On" to victory. On the other hand you may think I'll do better the next time, but this is like the flaw left in a piece of cloth which spoils the whole cloth, because time was not taken to make the tiny thread strong in the beginning.

Now, darling, I am very glad indeed to get this letter written to you this year. I have wanted to send it every since you left home but my seventy-two years makes me halt in my work of love many times. What can I wish for you in closing? The best of course. You must be true as steel in everything to gain it and belong to the noble army of women, whom to know inspires to live for the highest. This I know will honor our father and mother, and close friends.

I remain,

Yours sincerely,
Sarah A. Clarke

RIP Sarah and Lucille

Here is a small excerpt from one of the poems by Browning.


This I say of me, but think of you, Love?
This to you-yourself my moon of poets?
Ah, but that's the world's side, there's the wonder,
Thus they see you, praise you, think they know you?
There, in turn I stand with them and praise you-
Out of my own self, I dare to phrase it.
But the best is when I glide from out them,
Cross a step or two of dubious twilight,
Come out on the other side, the novel
Silent silver lights and darks undreamed of,
Where I hush and bless myself with silence.


Marion said...

Oh, Princess! What an awesome find! I love old books and have quite a few in my library. But what a gift this was...thank you for posting it. What a wonderful lady Sarah seemed to be!

Karla said...

Yes, that's a lovely find indeed!

And writing a novel in a month as a lark? Very fun and cheers for doing it. I wish I had time to try--I write fast, but not that fast, and especially not in November. My novels just seem to take their own slower pace.

Gorgeous photos of blossoms earlier on as always.

Jackie said...

What an amazing find and even more exceptional as Browning's poetry is so wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Hello Princess Haiku,

It amazes me that books have a life of their own. After all this time, it has found a home again where it is appreciated and loved.

Thanks for sharing this precious letter of love!

Marguerite said...

Who was Sarah I wonder ? Was she somebody from your familly ? I have some books which belonged to my grand mother. I have her dolls too. I keep preciuosly a letter my grand father wrote to her during WW1. It is so tender and yet my grand father was not, he was a terrible man...
"Mon aimée..."