Monday, April 16, 2012

"Such Gentle Persistence"

How difficult it is to stop the constant running of the mind!  What a challenge it is to simply see.  I often remind myself to just look when I am out on my afternoon walk.  I always fail miserably.

For instance: cherry blossoms flutter to the ground -- like snowflakes -- in the wind.  Does this betoken the remorseless march of Time?  Is it a wistful reminder of our mortality?  Or is it only cherry blossoms fluttering to the ground in the wind?

Of course, I realize that poetry (and art as a whole) would not exist if we did not try to transform the World.   Nevertheless, in the meantime, cherry blossoms (and pear blossoms and plum blossoms and magnolia petals) flutter to the ground in the wind.  Like nothing else but themselves.

                             Laura Knight (1877-1970), "Peach Blossom"

              The Wood Anemone

The wood anemone ducks beneath its leaves,
Out early in the year, shadow-boxing the breeze,
Before the bracken overcrowds the woods;
A flower so white it seems to be reflected.
A weightless colour; leaves whose segments are scissored
Away so fine they attach to the stem by a merest thread.

A delicate flower I never saw broken by winds,
It gently persists in a storm,
A sigh that cannot better be defined,
The mere beginning of a feeling too delicate
To even think, let alone articulate.
Such gentle persistence:  who is it was turned
Into this flower in a legend I have never heard?

Stanley Cook, Woods Beyond a Cornfield: Collected Poems (Smith/Doorstop Books 1995).

                                    Wilhelm List (1864-1918), "Magnolia"


Mary F. C. Pratt said...

Thank you. "Like weary waves, thought follows upon thought." ~George MacDonald

Stephen Pentz said...

Mary F. C. Pratt: and thank you for the quote from George MacDonald, which I have not seen before. Thanks for dropping by again.

Shelley said...

And as a writer, of course I can't see a cherry blossom without thinking of Housman.

Stephen Pentz said...

Shelley: yes, that's true. Spring wouldn't be spring without Housman and the "loveliest of trees", would it?

Thank you very much for visiting again.