Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I - Spring

Spring, as Neruda says, arrives in the flower and the water and if Spring speaks of tender new beginnings, a new love, a fresh start then the magic is that it will always be, can always be Spring.

Wordsworth has daffodils and Yeats, his bee loud glade but I have Spring in Melbourne: the Tesselaar tulips, shy green leaves peeking at me from the trees outside the university gym, skeins of geese flying south away from the cold and snows of the north, carrying the warmth of the northern summer with them south south to the land of Oz.

Hopkins brings one round to contemplate - amidst the beauty - through the glass darkly, the echoes of Eden in the freshness and beauty of the season. The best promise - that we now see in part and shall one day see, the whole.

Jarrett playing Shenandoah after his long illness - how I love this track - first heard it after recovering from the flu and have gone back to it now that I'm recovering (thank God thank God) from the migraines that have plagued me, made lucid lines of thought difficult and reading impossible for nearly two weeks.

To all my friends: here's to new beginnings, as full of promise and joy as the unfurling green leaves, jade green, seafoam green, translucent in the sun.


NOTHING is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

-- Gerard Manley Hopkins



Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

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