Sunday, April 24, 2011

April is Poetry Month

Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Okay. This is a beautiful poem that captures the transitory nature of youth. But until I lived here and watched the woods turn from silhouettes of dormant branches to the hazy look of a forest in full flower, I didn't get why "Nature's first green is gold." In fact the sugar maples have golden flowers that bloom for about a week before being overtaken by the leaf buds, whereupon the golden haze of the forest gives way to the green haze of full spring. As I write, the golden light of the evening sun is permeating the area around the farmstead. There is a strange power in these momentary phenomena. When on vacation I notice the sunsets more. Here, I only notice when they are spectacular, otherwise it is just another sunset. Or just another massive maple tree in full splendorous transcendent glory. Just that.

Stock photo from the internet of a maple flower. Any day now we'll get the real thing. Can't wait.
 Thanks to Wikipedia for the poetry text.


 One of our favorite spring songs. Please seek it out.

The Lilac and the Apple

The Lilac and the Apple
(Kate Wolf)

A Lilac bush and an Apple tree
Were standing in the woods,
Out on the hill above the town,
Where once a farmhouse stood.

In the winter the leaves are bare
And no one sees the signs
Of a house that stood and a garden that grew
And life in another time.

One Spring when the buds can bursting forth
And grass grew on the land,
The Lilac spoke to the Apple tree
As only a good friend can.

Do you think, said the Lilac, this might be the year
When someone will build here once more?
Here by the cellar, still open and deep,
There's room for new walls and a floor.

Oh, no, said the Apple, there are so few
Who come here on the mountain this way,
And when they do, they don't often see
Why we're growing here, so far away.

A long time ago we were planted by hands
That worked in the mines and the mills,
When the country was young and the people who came
Built their homes in the hills.

But now there are cities, the roads have come,
And no one lives here today.
And the only signs of the farms in the hills
Are the things not carried away.

Broken dishes, piles of boards,
A tin plate, an old leather shoe.
And an Apple tree still bending down,
And a Lilac where a garden once grew.

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