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“Westron Wind” – collision and departure

I’ve loved the little anonymous medieval lyric “Westron wynde” since reading it as an undergraduate. Simple as it is, it probably surfaces in my mind more often than any other poem, its emotional force undiminished by repetition:

Westron wynde, when wilt thou blow,
The small raine down can raine.
Cryst, if my love were in my armes
And I in my bedde again!

Such compact fullness, such simplicity and richness both of feeling and hinted situation. A sailor or merchant waiting for the wind that will take him home. Yearning, helplessness and the reaching out of hope. Erotic intensity, but what’s so yearned … Continue Reading