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Sussex Road

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 03, 2013

Sussex Road

By Eva Willes Wangsgaard

Her talk was often of the Sussex downs,
Of fogs that drenched the noonday violet,
Of hedgerows sweet with honeysuckle crowns,
Of clumps of lavender and mignonette.
But hills were lonely after oceans drew
Her people from her to this desert place;
She followed, but these alien breezes blew
No scent of rain-wet May and heather lace.
Her heart crept back to what the downs could give.
Returning was her silver path of hope.
But seas are wide and Death imperative –
Today we laid her on this arid slope.
Can this be Sussex Road? Yet, who can say
Where she has gone? Her downs, how far away?

(1943)



2 Comments »

  1. What an excellent poet Eva Willes Wangsgaard
    is. And what a poignant poem!

    Comment by David Y. — October 3, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

  2. I don’t have people from Sussex, but I wonder how many of my own dear ancestors had the same thoughts taking them back to lush countryside and perhaps childhood memories. Only fourteen lines here, but Eva Wangsgaard has so wonderfully created the sadness and homesickness that could have belonged to thousands who left their homes behind to live in this arid desert.
    “But seas are wide. . .” reminds me of my oldest son writing his first letter from his mission in Portugal. . . “I can see the ocean from here and realize that you are on the other side of it.” Then, as if to shake away any hint of homesickness, the added, “The bread is wonderful here.”

    Comment by Maurine — October 8, 2013 @ 12:21 am

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