Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

"Memorable and quietly great" (Great Poetry Workshop)

Home-Thoughts, from Abroad a poem by Robert Browning.
It was written in 1845 while Browning was on a visit to northern Italy,

OH, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom'd pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray's edge—
That 's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!

And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Last few words: 
This poem was the one and only I have ever remembered, and throughout my day of travelling all over the world, and being in places where the Gaudy Melon Flower grows, it reminded me of where I belonged. The Elm Tree Bole now has become lost due to Dutch Elm problems but they were my trees in my land and will always be there for me if only in Memory, Yours Ian.T
Editing stage: 


some poems are more memorable to some of us than others . This is a perfect example, I believe. It touched you as it touches you mainly I supose because it describes one of your homeland most beautiful seasons. It is not that is doesn't touch me but I might not appreciate it the same way you do. However, I very much like it for all the rich imagery . I wished I have been in England in April and May.
Thanks for sharing dear Ian.


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words ........Robert Frost☺

Please follow me on Instagram

Sorry sweet lady this poem speaks of England only, I hope that you have one for your homeland, if not then one of us must write one, thank you for your visit,
Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

author comment

Ah Ian, ah and I too quote this in April,
when the snow has barely left the swards,
and Norway blooms its tentative flowers
through the woods,
in Englnad, the blaze of daffodils now over, tulips too,
and lilac blooming perfumes on the air
with birds and beast in trees
and bees at every flower,
ah England
is the bower where I was born,
she cries out across the north sea winds forlorn.

This is one my mother so often quoted,
and is a drop of the nectar that imbibed me
with a love of poetry, even though I didn't
write it then.

Its lullaby of sudden drops of dew synchopated grace,
he hesitates as he thinks fondly of England,
where he says "some morning, unaware,"
"In England—now!"
"The first fine careless rapture!"

A lullabied dance of English words,
that with their rhythm seduce the mind to dance too;
the undulating "That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf," such a phrase so complete,
and our appetites are not yet satisfied, we want more, we read on, we want more.
A kind of climax with the weight of the blossoming pear tree leaning over the clover,
a closer look at the individual drops of silver light before they splash;
( from quotes of his
"What youth deemed crystal, Age finds out with dew.")
emphasises the rapture he feels in spring, using the thrushes song heralding.
The golden yellow buttercup, that always surprises and delights the children.

We do not hear the sound of music, but it is so musical
the words make the music, as so often with Browning's poety.

"How sad, and bad, and mad it was -
But then, how it was sweet."

I specially like this bit too:-

"The year's at the spring
And the day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hilside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thron;
God's in his heaven;
All''s right with the world!"

Robert Browning (1812-1869) Pippa Passes "Morning." Pippa's song.

A worthy great poem this one, Love Ann.

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

Thank you for all your words on this one, I expect that it at sometimes comes drifting through when we least expect it to.
I would think triggered by something small, a bird call or the glimpse of a flower
There are many things that when away remind us of home, as I have travelled this poem drifts into the thoughts and sometimes brings a sadness of distance..
I have only learnt one poem in all my life and this one was taught to us probably the same time as some bible quotes in our village school, I must have been about 7 or 8 then, and the words never leave my memory.
Thank you for dropping in to talk to us here, Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

author comment

but especially "Pippas song" and "from a railway carriage"

I have many books of poetry here and I can't say I have ever read one, or even a part of one..
These days I look things up as they are required, and sort them through, the odd word, phrase, quote or word that I cannot recall, as to hold many things is to me not a great ability.
I have the Oxford books on poetry plus lots of books but now we become lazy and use the net to learn of things.
I shall as it came through look up your quote of "Pippas Song"
Thank you for commenting on this one, Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

author comment

I think I recall having read this a long while back. And as has already been said above, how memorable a poem is depends a great deal on how personally it affects the reader.
matter not how far we roam
no place equals home sweet home

good choice Ian.......................stan

As I said to Rula we must have our own poem that reminds us of home, if we don't then we should make a challenge to write one, In England we are lucky as we have this one and in its simplicity it gives out all that is needed, though the last line indicates that the poet is sad and away from home.. Hence the title LOL.
A good gathering of replies so far Stan thank you for this workshop,
Yours as always Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

author comment

I've can't remember reading any Robert Browning work but, I have heard of him. I like this one it is great agree, I'll need to write one for South Carolina as this one is so beautiful lol. For some odd reason My mind hate change and have come accustomed to reading in traditional stanzas. My troubles reading was minimal and I got to see the great beauty in this poem and see why you chose it.

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka.

Neopoet Community

Thank you for your words, that this will inspire you to write one for South Carolina is good enough for praise, I will have a look at your country and see what come out for a Poem or so,
Take care, Yours Ian.T

Just had a look in my head for South Carolina instead and here is the bones of what I see that I have jotted down just for thee.. (Doing a Loved ) :-
Oh! My hand is filled with provinces five
That furrow my brow in my memory alive
The coastal plains where I would oft times sleep
Sandhill’s that from the olden days do creep

A fall line that marks the river’s edge
From those ancient hills of sand
To Piedmont holding pastures green
A beauty that all the dawns have seen

Remind me of those hills and streams
The Blue Ridge Mountains in my dreams
Least I should forget this land of mine
In this foreign land one day, I'll leave behind

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

author comment

This is an odd one for me, so please bear with me. I am British/Australian so I understand the beauty of this poem and the lovely imagery looking back at the UK. Very easy to learn by heart, too. Memorable, yes. It's a 'longing' poem- longing for a country. I struggle a little with it because, for me, it borders on sentimentality- which would have been a part of it's time when it was written... So when I put it into that context (a country which no longer quite exists, which has changed from this poem's encapsulated space), I relax again. In Australia, I struggle with similar poets who write beautifully but sentimentalize 'country'. I can see why this poem reverberates beautifully for people, it retains fresh imagery but maybe the tastes of time alter the way some people view it.

Jenifer Jaspa James

Thanks for your visit here, this is the only poem I can remember, it has stuck with me for at least from when I was seven or there about's.
I have no memory of any that I have written is that bad lol, yes it is old and sentimental of long gone years but they were quiet times, a little before the great wars when there was only new worlds to keep in order and poverty to erase. These two tasks are still on going, glad to hear that you remember the old country, I lived in Wales for a couple of years, one of the poems I wrote a long one at that, is around some place.
(I touched The Earth) that was a touch sentimental but that is just me..
Thanks again,
Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

author comment

A very good point Jenifer, I know just what you mean, and agree,
one has to throw one's mind back in time, to truly appreciate
this poem. Browning doesn't over indulge on sentimentality,
I don't think; the longing is expressed, yes, but the descriptions
are of simple things that we all know of, and not overdone as
some writers do. I tried to illustrate the point but haven't found
anything yet.

That doesn't detract from the fact that they are established great poems.

Some of the sensitivity to nature has changed too, in people I feel,
and the aesthetic is becoming lost to many, in arts of all kinds.
That makes me sad.

Love ann.

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

I can't swear to the accuracy, having never been to the UK and agree with Jenifer that it difficult to avoid sentimentality in a poem of this type. I love Browning though and this poem applies as well. He has changed my life more than but a few poets. When I read :

" times I almost dream
I, too, have spent a life the sages' way,
And tread once more familiar paths. Perchance
I perished in an arrogant self-reliance
Ages ago; and in that act, a prayer
For one more chance went up so earnest, so
Instinct with better light let in by death,
That life was blotted out-not so completely
But scattered wrecks enough of it remain,
Dim memories, as now, when once more seems
The goal in sight again..."

That changed my life some years ago. Out of the shambling, monolithic Paracelsus Aspires, these words burned holes in my retinas and my soul. I have nothing bad to say about Browning but thank you.


Blue Demon77

"What I want is to be what I was before the knife,
before the brooch pin, before the salve, fixed me in this parenthesis:
Horses fluent in the wind. A place, a time gone out of mind."

The Eye Mote-Sylvia Plath

(c) No copyright is claimed by Neopoet to original member content.