Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Single Flower

As I was out walking this week, I noticed a single flower growing in a seam of the sidewalk.  It had five yellow petals, and was about three-eighths of an inch in diameter.  I searched, but I could not find any similar flowers nearby.

The world around us contains innumerable small dispensations of this sort, doesn't it?

Imagine this:  for the brief time that it blooms, that tiny yellow flower stands at the center of the surface of our spinning globe.  The flower is the mid-point:  everything else on Earth flows up to it and away from it.

Eliot Hodgkin, "Two Hyacinth Bulbs" (1966)

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower -- but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

Alfred Tennyson, The Holy Grail and Other Poems (1870).  Tennyson left the poem untitled.

Eliot Hodgkin, "Five Variegated Ivy Leaves" (1960)


Merisi said...

Beautiful words and paintings!

Thank you,

Stephen Pentz said...

Merisi: it is very nice to hear from you again.

I'm pleased that you liked the poem and the paintings. As a long-time visitor, I'm sure you've noticed that I am an admirer of Eliot Hodgkin's work: somehow he manages to fill his paintings of ordinary things (which are not ordinary at all, of course) with a great deal of life and feeling.

Thank you very much for visiting, and for your thoughts.

Merisi said...

I learned about Eliot Hodgkin through your posts, and you are so right, of course, about his ability to make so-called ordinary things shine.

I always enjoy coming here.

Stephen Pentz said...

Merisi: thank you for the follow-up comment. That is an excellent way to describe Hodgkin: he does, as you say, make "so-called ordinary things shine."