Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Carman

All photography courtesy of our private collection.

As you read the poem I have selected and see the photographs I have shared, click on each one to enlarge it and take a walk with me through the gardens. The sunlight drapes the tulips in a glittering light which renders the petals almost translucent. See the Royal Star Magnolia's bloom of pure white splendor. There is a tiny spider climbing one of the pink tulip buds...can you see it? The weeping cherry tree is losing its blooms so that it can dress itself in green while the pink and purple tulips dance around it. I see the beginning of a bouquet my husband has planted for me when my eyes find the yellow tulip buds not yet open. The gifts of this garden await my eyes each morning, tulips singing to me through my kitchen window and shining gloriously, speaking to me of love and nature's precious mysteries.

Beauty is always there just waiting to be found.



I heard the spring wind whisper
Above the brushwood fire,
"The world is made forever
Of transport and desire.

"I am the breath of being,
The primal urge of things;
I am the whirl of star dust,
I am the lift of wings.

"I am the splendid impulse
That comes before the thought,
The joy and exaltation
Wherein the life is caught.

"Across the sleeping furrows
I call the buried seed,
And blade and bud and blossom
Awaken at my need.

"Within the dying ashes
I blow the sacred spark,
And make the hearts of lovers
To leap against the dark."


I heard the spring light whisper
Above the dancing stream,
"The world is made forever
In likeness of a dream.

"I am the law of planets,
I am the guide of man;
The evening and the morning
Are fashioned to my plan.

"I tint the dawn with crimson,
I tinge the sea with blue;
My track is in the desert,
My trail is in the dew.

"I paint the hills with color,
And in my magic dome
I light the star of evening
To steer the traveller home.

"Within the house of being,
I feed the lamp of truth
With tales of ancient wisdom
And prophecies of youth."


I heard the spring rain murmur
Above the roadside flower,
"The world is made forever
In melody and power.

"I keep the rhythmic measure
That marks the steps of time,
And all my toil is fashioned
To symmetry and rhyme.

"I plow the untilled upland,
I ripe the seeding grass,
And fill the leafy forest
With music as I pass.

"I hew the raw, rough granite
To loveliness of line,
And when my work is finished,
Behold, it is divine!

"I am the master-builder
In whom the ages trust.
I lift the lost perfection
To blossom from the dust."


Then Earth to them made answer,
As with a slow refrain
Born of the blended voices
Of wind and sun and rain,
"This is the law of being
That links the threefold chain:
The life we give to beauty
Returns to us again."

~William Bliss Carman~

"Earth Voices" is reprinted from April Airs: A Book of New England Lyrics. Bliss Carman. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1916.

Bliss Carman was born in New Brunswick, Canada in 1861 with a maternal ancestry traced back to Ralph Waldo Emerson. He received undergraduate, and graduate degrees in New Brunswick, Canada, leaving to attend Oxford and Edinburgh but did not complete post graduate work there. He returned to New Bruanswick where he taught French and practiced law prior to leaving for Harvard. He did not complete post graduate work at Harvard but moved instead to NYC where he worked as an editor with several periodicals. He published books of essays and volumes of poetry, did notable editorial work on poetry anthologies, and was a successful speaker. He met Mary Perry King and her husband in 1896 and did collaborative work with Mrs. King, writing books on personality development, and work on masques, and intepretive dance. He relocated near this couple in Connecticut and worked with Mrs. King in a summer school program for many years. Carman was treated during the last decade of his life for tuberculosis and died in 1929 in Connecticut. Bliss Carman, the unofficial poet laureate of Canada, was buried in New Brunshwick, Canada.


rdl said...

Beautiful - words and pictures!

Tabor said...

As usual an excellent pairing of words and images! You have a lovely garden! Welcome spring.

jenclair said...

What wonderful pictures to go with this lovely poem!

Gabrielle said...

you made me feel being ina garden... thanks for visiting my blog today :)

LouBob said...

I love your pictures

MB said...

Beautiful!! Your photographs are exquisite, Sky, not to mention the garden they represent.

I lift the lost perfection
To blossom from the dust.

— Bliss is appropriately named, methinks!

I did spot the spider in amongst the dew drops.

You have woven this post together marvelously.

Lorna said...

Why wasn't Bliss Carman the official poet laureate of Canada, I wonder?

Patry Francis said...

A perfect poem for spring--and a poet I hadn't read before. Thank you!

Sky said...

rdl - thanks.

tabor - yes, welcome spring, indeed! thanks for your kind words.

jenclair - we like to keep pics of the garden from year to year. it helps us remember where the perennials live when they begin to break the earth again.

gabrielle - you are welcome.

loubob - i love yours! i looked at soooo many of yours last night...well over a year's worth! great fun!

mb - thank you! yes, i smiled at his name. and, he went by "bliss" instead of "william."

lorna - good question, and i don't know the answer, but i wondered about his absences from canada - living in the uk and also in the us - and if that played a part. i just googled and found this in wikipedia:

"Canada has a Parliamentary Poet Laureate, who is appointed as an officer of the Library of Parliament. Candidates must be able to write in either English or French, must have a substantial publication history (including poetry) displaying literary excellence and must have written work reflecting Canada, among other criteria."

i don't know if he was published enough before he left the country to come to the us and don't know if he wrote enough about canada in particular.

patry - yes, i thought so, too. i enjoy his nature writing. there is another one of his poems i like very much which i may post later. :)

Catherine said...

What a beautiful poem and great pictures to go with it. Thanks for visiting my blog too

Endment said...

“I am the splendid impulse
That comes before the thought,
The joy and exaltation
Wherein the life is caught." I tingle with the reading of these words. Carman is new to me - will get some books and explore his works.

Many thanks to you for putting together this delightful post!!!

harmonyinline said...

Exquisite, both the flowers and the poem.

lizardek said...

Your photos are just GORGEOUS

Tammy said...

What beautiful words to match the beauty in your garden!

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Your garden is so lush and beautiful. The poem and photos weave a wonderful meditative moment. Quite lovely, sky.

Nan said...

Lovely words! I savored them as I read them and enjoyed your chosen photos. Thanks for the intro to a wonderful poet.

Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting regarding the eagle cam. Too fun to watch!

Mary said...

Sky, your blog is always so beautiful. But this particular post is stunning. Thank you .

I didn't know Bliss Carman until I read this, and I appreciate your sharing the photographs and the words.

Sky said...

catherine - welcome and thanks! please visit again.

endment - the pleasure was mine. this poem touched me in an emphatic way the moment i read it. it was so perfect for my focus and mood.

harmonyinline - :) sometimes the light is just perfect. i loved the way the sunlight caught the shadows inside the petals.

lizardek - thanks. my hubby and i both took these. it is fun to see what the different light will bring in the photographs.

tammy - it is always nice to see you again! thanks. :)

robin - thank you - i am glad you think so. now if we can just lure the eagles and goldfinch we will be quite happy in our paradise! ;)

nan - welcome and yes, those eagles are just marvelous to watch. i have already watched this morning!

mary - good to see you again. hope work is giving you a little break! thanks much for your kind words.

goldenlucyd said...

I'm so happy I didn't miss this post...a delicious treat in so many ways. I also enjoyed reading about Bliss Carman. He wasn't familiar to me but I appreciate the introduction. Thanks very much, Sky!

Nova said...

You always have the perfect combination of poetry and beautiful pictures. It's always so refreshing and relaxing to visit your page!

Nerdine said...

Oh I absolutely LOVE tulips! the colors are wonderful. Sometimes I really miss having a garden, but then I walk in the botanical garden not too far away from where I live, and it's allright again. To see the changes in a garden during the year is so wonderful.
Thank you for sharing. And I'm glad I found you again!

abhay k said...

just discovered your blog, its amazing! I am adding you to my favorite blogs..

AscenderRisesAbove said...

Wonderfully vibrant photos; each one was a pleasure to look at.

beansprout said...

Beautiful! Beautiful photographs of your garden. What an amazing retreat you and your husband have created. And the poem...the perfect choice.