Monday, January 27, 2014

flowering fleeing




And I was alive in the blizzard of the blossoming pear,
Myself I stood in the storm of the bird-cherry tree.
It was all leaflife and starshower, unerring, self-shattering power,
And it was all aimed at me.
What is this dire delight flowering fleeing always earth?
What is being? What is truth?

Blossoms rupture and rapture the air,
All hover and hammer,
Time intensified and time intolerable, sweetness raveling rot.
It is now. It is not.
           - Osip Mandlestam, 1937
The last known poem written by Mandlestam, shortly before being sent to a Gulag camp by Stalin, where he died in 1938.

                                


24 comments:

  1. Hi, Jen. I had missed your previous post, such cute small trace of life.
    This new post seems to be different, but the poet's question lead me the depth of
    mystery of our lives as well as the tiny footprints do.

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    1. Hi Haricot--I love the way you connect the two posts--only a poet could do that. I hope you are having a good winter. xo

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  2. Interesting dichotomy you have here between the colors and the stillness of the branches against the sky. The stillness goes well with the poem. "Time intensified and time intolerable." Actually all three pictures match the poem don't they?
    Sad what humans can do to other humans.

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    1. That poem just takes my breath away.

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    2. Mine, too. At first I thought it was GM Hopkins or maybe Yeats. A gorgeous, color-exploding painting, Jen. Bien fait!
      Diane
      in Denver

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  3. Hello Jen, I love your painting, and your impressionistic ability to reduce images to essential colors.

    I just read Mandelstam's short bio on Wikipedia, and admire his courage and talent. His story makes me grateful that there are free countries where one can express opinions without fear.

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    1. So grateful.
      Thank you for your kind words.

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  4. Love your painting. Immediately thought of a large spray of tulips. The poem I'll have to read again and more slowly.

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    1. I discovered it recently, and I keep going back to it.

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  5. beautiful and very intense. thanks for sharing xo

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  6. WOW! Your paintings are beautiful, Jen. I love your interpretation.

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  7. That's a stunning poem. I can't find a word to describe it. Your chosen photos bring the words to life.

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  8. beautiful interpretation! I find the line "time intensified and time intolerable" very chilling. It is a brilliant poet that can stir so much emotion and thought in just four words.

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    1. Yes. I think every line has a similar contrast. Life and death, I suppose.

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  9. Jen... I love the diversity of your posts always with the common thread. I love the bold primary and secondary colors of your painting echoing the lovely flowers. The pinks you added were a surprise and drew my eye in their direction. The delicate leafy branches on pink brought a sigh of calm. Poemhunter.com had an interesting biography of Mandlestam. The poem you shared highlights his concentration on comparisons. Your posts are always little lessons of one kind or another. Many thanks from a devoted lifelong learner....Susan

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    1. Susan, I'm glad you found a common thread. I've gotten comfortable with being a little looser, a little more me with my posts. Thanks for sticking with me and for you constant kindness. xo

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  10. As always, you open our minds and hearts. xo

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    1. Now I need to master integrating wit. Not sure I'll ever get there, but you are my role model. :)

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Your comments make me happy. Thanks for taking the time.