The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #105603   Message #2174990
Posted By: Bill D
19-Oct-07 - 10:21 PM
Thread Name: BS: Poems that speak to you.
Subject: Lyr Add: THE BIG NASTURTIUMS (Robert Beverly Hale) favorite English teacher in college read "Naming of Parts" to us, and I could SEE the scenes, so well did he read. It has been almost 50 years now, but that remains one of my favorites.

He also read to us "The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed's Church", by Browning...and made it sound like he WAS the bishop.

But one that really caught my fancy was this: I have wondered for years if some clever person could set a tune to it.

—Robert Beverly Hale

All of a sudden the big nasturtiums
Rose in the night from the ocean's bed,
Rested a while in the light of the morning,
Turning the sand dunes tiger red.

They covered the statue of Abraham Lincoln,
They climbed to the top of our church's spire.
"Grandpa! Grandpa! Come to the window!
Come to the window! Our world's on fire!"

Big nasturtiums in the High Sierras,
Big nasturtiums in the lands below;
Our trains are late and our planes have fallen,
And out in the ocean the whistles blow.

Over the fields and over the forests,
Over the living and over the dead—
"I never expected the big nasturtiums
To come in my lifetime!" Grandpa said.