The Cherry Trees
Under pure skies of April blue I stood,
Where, in wild beauty, cherries were in blow;
And, as sweet fancy willed, see there I could
Boughs thick with blossom, or inch-deep in snow.
Walter de la Mare, Memory and Other Poems (1938).
Today was a windy and rainy day, and I fear for the longevity of this year's blossoms. The usual bitter-sweet cherry blossom-spring and leafy-autumn wistfulness arises. Ishikawa Jozan (1583-1672) offers an interesting perspective on this feeling.
Fallen Blossoms on the Eastern Hills
Cherry blossoms filling the ground, sunset filling my eyes:
blossoms vanished, spring old, I feel the passing years.
When blossoms were at their finest I neglected to call.
The blossoms did not betray me. I betrayed the blossoms.
Ishikawa Jozan (translated by Burton Watson), in Burton Watson (editor/translator), Kanshi: The Poetry of Ishikawa Jozan and Other Edo-Period Poets (North Point Press 1990).