Poem Project – entry #11 Four Ducks on a Pond
Four Ducks on a Pond by William Allingham
Four ducks on a pond,
A grass-bank beyond,
A blue sky of spring,
White clouds on the wing:
What a little thing
To remember for years—
To remember with tears!
Do you remember learning this poem? I’m sure it was a part of some grade school poetry experience. Allingham’s other poems aren’t memorable at all but the first two lines of this poem popped into my head right away when I was conjuring up spring poetry. I’d forgotten the lines in the middle.
The picture that came to my mind is like the scene in the movie “Mary Poppins” when Mary and Bert pop into the chalk painting and the colors become vividly surreal and slightly romantic. I began to sketch my concept for the poetry page and remembered that the author, Pat Hutchins, had a similar scene in her book, Rosie’s Walk, that shows a pond and a tree with drooping branches. I put these ideas together and mostly a lot of green – because it is the “grass-bank beyond” that I mostly see – lots of growing greenery.
Memory always gives colors a heightened value – the water is bluer, the cherry blossoms pinker, the horizon clearly in sight. But if our memories weren’t so intense, we probably wouldn’t seek to recreate or avoid them so aggressively.