For we can still love the world
Last week's post was not about flowers but this week's post is. Hopefully it will cheer me up because someone just reminded me there are seventeen weeks until summer. As if that was a good thing. Seventeen is too many weeks. Why would you even bring it up? That's like saying to a child, "Only six more years until you're old enough to get a puppy!" Don't talk about the puppy until you have the puppy.
Anyway, this post is about flowers and bright colors and happiness and I probably won't mention murder more than twice. It's March now! I checked, and that means it will only be overcast or mostly cloudy half the time. Okay, slightly more than half the time. Between February 1st and March 31st, the percentage goes from 67 to 55. I admit, it's not great. We're not going to focus on that.
We're going to focus on flowers.
If you do not have access to flowers, poems are the next best thing. In my mind, they go together, so I wanted to intersperse the flowers with poems.
But it turns out much poetry that is both flower-related and in the public domain is about death, which is specifically not what we are going for in this post. The ones that aren't about death aren't very good, and I will not have mediocre poetry on my blog. So! Excerpts from copyrighted works it is!
I found many of these through my poem-a-day emails. A few months ago, I subscribed to as many as I could find, because I wanted to read more poetry and I assumed that I would never be able to bring myself to delete a poem from my inbox unread. I was right! I highly recommend this strategy.
Here's part of "somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond" by e. e. cummings:
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose
Here's a bit of "Chaplinesque" by Hart Crane, which has nothing to do with anything:
For we can still love the world, who find
A famished kitten on the step, and know
Recesses for it from the fury of the street,
Or warm torn elbow coverts.
From "Snow" by Louis MacNeice:
The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.
From "Blackberrying" by Sylvia Plath:
The high, green meadows are glowing, as if lit from within.
I come to one bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies,
Hanging their bluegreen bellies and their wing panes in a Chinese screen.
The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them; they believe in heaven.
From "April" by Alicia Ostriker:
What a concerto
of good stinks said the dog
trotting along Riverside Drive
in the early spring afternoon
sniffing this way and that
how gratifying the cellos of the river
the tubas of the traffic
Kevin Young's "Hive" is a lovely poem that doesn't suit being extracted, but I liked it so much I'm including it anyway. Here's my favorite part:
who carries the entire
world in his calm
From Robert Frost's "A Tuft of Flowers":
I left my place to know them by their name,
Finding them butterfly weed when I came.
The mower in the dew had loved them thus,
By leaving them to flourish, not for us,
Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him.
But from sheer morning gladness at the brim.
Wallace Stevens wrote about four poems that are, shall we say, scrutable. "The Florist Wears Knee-Breeches" is one... I think.
It is my desire
To bring roses,
And place them before you
In a white dish.
Wallace Stevens' inscrutable poems are also good, but they take a lot of work, and even then, you will never feel you have scruted them fully. A certain Professor Weedin once said "Wallace Stevens was the most major minor poet." I never understood what that meant. He also said he thought class would be significantly improved if we were up to our necks in either water or cats. I can't remember, and he is equally likely to have said either one. Professor Weedin was vehemently against Daylight Saving Time, which is neither here nor there but seemed worth mentioning. He taught me to look at language differently . . . and teaching styles.
Hopefully this post made you feel differently about March for a few minutes. Remember, summer is only seventeen weeks away. In the meantime, let's seek out all the flowers and poems that we can. (And puppies if at all possible.)