Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Flowers: Holly and Poinsettia

Poinsettia: Euphorbia pulcherrima

(By Kenneth Rexroth)

It is late at night, cold and damp
The air is filled with tobacco smoke.
My brain is worried and tired.
I pick up the encyclopedia,
The volume GIC to HAR,
It seems I have read everything in it,
So many other nights like this.
I sit staring empty-headed at the article Grosbeak,
Listening to the long rattle and pound
Of freight cars and switch engines in the distance.
Suddenly I remember
Coming home from swimming
In Ten Mile Creek,
Over the long moraine in the early summer evening,
My hair wet, smelling of waterweeds and mud.
I remember a sycamore in front of a ruined farmhouse,
And instantly and clearly the revelation
Of a song of incredible purity and joy,
My first rose-breasted grosbeak,
Facing the low sun, his body
Suffused with light.
I was motionless and cold in the hot evening
Until he flew away, and I went on knowing
In my twelfth year one of the great things
Of my life had happened.
Thirty factories empty their refuse in the creek.
On the parched lawns are starlings, alien and aggressive.
And I am on the other side of the continent
Ten years in an unfriendly city.

This is one of those poems that "speaks to me" and makes memories come bubbling up from my subconscious mind, like the grosbeak. I'm the type of person who likes paging through an encyclopedia, stumbling across random articles that triggers thoughts, associations, and images. The manner in which Kenneth Rexroth captures that experience is simply awesome.

Holly: Ilex cornuta burfordii

And since this is the Friday before Christmas, it seemed appropriate to celebrate with some poinsettia and holly. ;-)

I'm not certain if I'll have time to write another post this weekend. So, if I don't, then I want to wish you all Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas, whichever you prefer. Ho ho ho!!!

English Holly: Ilex aquifolium

Here are a few vids:

Flower Wreath Hill by Kenneth Rexroth

Adonis in Winter by Kenneth Rexroth

Song for a Dancer by Kenneth Rexroth

The Holly and the Ivy (soprano: Renee Fleming)


No comments:

Post a Comment