Flags, Weeds

watercolor, Jan van Huijsum (1682 – 1749)

watercolor, Jan van Huijsum (1682 – 1749)

Repose of Rivers

The willows carried a slow sound,
A sarabande the wind mowed on the mead.
I could never remember
That seething, steady leveling of the marshes
Till age had brought me to the sea.

Flags, weeds. And remembrance of steep alcoves
Where cypresses shared the noon’s
Tyranny; they drew me into hades almost.
And mammoth turtles climbing sulphur dreams
Yielded, while sun-silt rippled them
Asunder …

How much I would have bartered! the black gorge
And all the singular nestings in the hills
Where beavers learn stitch and tooth.
The pond I entered once and quickly fled—
I remember now its singing willow rim.

And finally, in that memory all things nurse;
After the city that I finally passed
With scalding unguents spread and smoking darts
The monsoon cut across the delta
At gulf gates … There, beyond the dykes

I heard wind flaking sapphire, like this summer,
And willows could not hold more steady sound.


Hart Crane


Published in: on June 30, 2012 at 5:21 am  Comments (2)  
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More Weeds

‘Richard Mabey suggested that the “greatest legacy” of The Natural History of Selborne was a “blending” of scientific responses to nature with emotional ones, including “respect” for living things and a sense of “kindredness” with them.’

‘In its sensitivity to the “reverberations” of things, as Bachelard puts it, reverie is a way we “open up the world to ourselves” and enter “the space of elsewhere”.’


David Cooper’s review of:

Richard Mabey
How vagabond plants gatecrashed civilisation and changed the way we think about nature

David E. Cooper is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Durham University. He is the author of A Philosophy of Gardens, 2006, and has recently completed a book on Daoism and people’s relationship with nature.