March: “Black March” – Stevie Smith
“The Frozen Pool, March“ (1909)
in this wonderful film about Stevie Smith,
Glenda Jackson is the celebrated poet,
whose poem, “Black March“, I’ve chosen
to introduce the new month
you’ll love also Mona Washbourne in it,
as Stevie’s beloved aunt
the site presents the film in numbered
episodes, which seamlessly flow if you
don’t touch your dial, but should you,
just click on the episode number, one
of eleven, when you return
psst: you might also want to compare
this story with that of Emily
Dickinson in “The Belle of Amherst“,
another, unconventionally then,
unmarried woman, for which Julie
Harris got a richly deserved Tony
read all about it in one of my recent
I have a friend
At the end
Of the world.
His name is a breath
Of fresh air.
He is dressed in
Grey chiffon. At least
I think it is chiffon.
It has a
Peculiar look, like smoke.
It wraps him round
It blows out of place
It conceals him
I have not seen his face.
But I have seen his eyes, they are
As pretty and bright
As raindrops on black twigs
In March, and heard him say:
I am a breath
Of fresh air for you, a change
By and by.
Black March I call him
Because of his eyes
Being like March raindrops
On black twigs.
(Such a pretty time when the sky
Behind black twigs can be seen
Stretched out in one
Cambridge blue as cold as snow.)
But this friend
Whatever new names I give him
Is an old friend. He says:
Whatever names you give me
A breath of fresh air,
A change for you.