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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

snowshoe hare

Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups grow –
Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow –
Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.

If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You’d lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You’d say to the wind when it took you away:
“That’s where I wanted to go today!”

Where am I going? I don’t quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow –
Anywhere, anywhere. I don’t know.

~  Excerpted from A. A. Milne’s poem ‘Spring Morning’

Arnold Schwartzenegger read this poem as he put his class down for a nap in the movie Kindergarden Cop.  Putting children down for a nap is seldom easy, but these words are so soothing, they might even put an adult to rest… especially if they were read by Arnold’s strong yet gentle voice.

Milne, who became known for his stories  of Winnie the Pooh, wrote another poem ‘Puppy and I’ which has a similar theme.  In it he asked rabbits he had met on the road where they were going in their brown fur coats, which made me think of the hare I saw along the trail this morning. 

In trying so hard to figure out where we’re going, sometimes we miss the wonders of the world around us, where we are, right now.  Sometimes it’s just enough to go… outdoors.

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What on earth would you liken love to?  Ever since King Solomon compared his beloved to a garden of delights, poets and writers of prose have made use of elements in nature to describe their feelings of  love in terms that others can understand.  

In the 1700s, ‘The Ploughman’s Poet’ Robert Burns wrote:

My love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June…

These wild roses found growing behind Rainbow Haven beach last summer are more pink than red, but the effect is similar.  Their petals look so soft and tender, and the buds seem especially full of promise. 

Anyone who thinks love is only for the young might be surprised to learn that Pulitzer prize winner Carl Sandburg was in his eighties when he wrote these lines from Offering and Rebuff:

I could love you, as dry roots love rain.
I could hold you, as branches in the wind brandish petals.
Forgive me for speaking so soon.

 

‘The Poet for the Planet,’ John Denver, frequently found inspiration in nature… 

You fill up my senses
Like a night in the forest
Like a mountain in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like the sleepy blue ocean…

Later in life, Denver also wrote

Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of change…

If love is anything, it’s never that way for long.  Like so much in nature, it keeps transforming itself as well as those who are touched by it.  

Matt Groening, creator of the comic strip ‘Life in Hell’ and ‘The Simpsons’ wrote:

Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath.  At night, the ice weasels come.

Though ice weasels (ermines), like this one I found last winter in the salt marsh, are pretty cute creatures, they tend to go right for the jugular when attacking.  Love can be like that too.

In good times and bad, there is no denying the power love has over our lives.  Perhaps Solomon, the wisest man who ever walked the planet, said it best…

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.
~ Song of Solomon 8.7

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you’re in the mood to read more about love, here are some previous posts on the topic:

The Deepest Secret

Love at the Beach

Transformations

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… here is the deepest secret nobody knows


(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud


and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart).
~ ee cummings

The world has many secrets. Some are ancient but new ones are made (and revealed) daily.  This one is probably the most wonderful.  It’s what allows people to go on and remain connected to one another, despite the suffering brought on by separation, either through death or some other circumstance. 

Someone might read Cumming’s poem and think of romantic love, another the love between a parent or grandparent and a child, the love between siblings or friends or the love of God.  Regardless of how many hearts we hold within our hearts, somehow, they are always large enough to hold these all in.  And that, in itself, is a wonder.

This morning’s clear November sky allowed me to find these images: the root in an upturned tree (the negative image is shown), the bud in one of next year’s frosted Rhododendron buds, and a spruce tree at sunrise along the salt marsh trail.  Birch and maple leaves provided the background for the shape of the heart within a heart.

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