The spire of St Mary in Baldock. The letters below the vane are stylised W and E. [ISO 160 1/230s f/6.7 230mm Fuji X-T30]

He is a bit of a pariah. The Greeks named him but decided not to include in the seasons. The English nailed him with a nursery rhyme:

When the wind is in the East
‘Tis good for neither man nor beast

The imperial Irishman, Mr O.Wilde wrote a very long piece in which the following quatrain occurs:

For southern wind and east wind meet
Where, girt and crowned by sword and fire,
England with bare and bloody feet
Climbs the steep road of wide empire.

Nothing good then, either. Although… ’twas before the word empire acquired its multidimensional stink, which persists to this day, many cultural detergents notwithstanding. Hm. Trendy accoutrements of modern discourse are supposed to “gird” a liberal’s mind; not mine. Marching on,

Why east wind chills and south wind cools
Shall not be known till windwell dries
And west’s no longer drowned
In winds that bring the fruit and rind

I love Dylan Thomas. [Those who read me regularly know that, sorry.] The piece from which the above is quoted has a convincing title “East Wind Chills”. No, I don’t know what the hell he meant by windwell. Probably something ineffably Welsh. Perhaps a windmill driving a well pump?

Whatever it is, poor Eurus is bad-mouthed here regardless. But hold this thought.

Here is a beautiful poem by Li Yu, who besides writing poetry happens to be a 10th century imperial ruler of a Chinese province (damn!). It is titled “The East wind blows over the water” and is presented below in someone’s accurate translation.

The east wind blows over the water, the sun sits by the hill,
Though spring has come, the idleness persists.
Fallen blossom is scattered amid wine and tinkling pendants by the rail,
She listens to playing and singing in a drunken daze.
The pendants are now silent, her evening wear undone,
For what man’s sake is she to dress her hair?
Her fair appearance too will pass as time slips by,
At dusk, she leans alone upon the railing.

Eurus, rejoice! In your homeland, China, you were Eros’s twin brother. Shame on you, Greeks.

Back here, in a winter’s England, on this cold, dreary January day looking at the tidings — what comes to mind is not poetry, but the somber lines from Conan Doyle:

“There’s an east wind coming, Watson.”

“I think not, Holmes. It is very warm.”

“Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There’s an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it’s God’s own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.”

Peace to us all.

2 thoughts on “Eurus

  1. Ciao, Vito! Grazie per le belle parole. Tutto bene, grazie, anche Leila. Siamo a Baldock da qualche settimana, aspettiamo che la “grande casa” di Bolnhurst venga sistemata presto. Spero che Beata e la famiglia stiano bene, e di incontrarvi presto!


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