Thursday, 24 July 2008
Poems about hesitation
I cycled to the Botanical Gardens again, and I had an epiphany: I am allowed just to enjoy beautiful things, like this sea of summer flowers. And the quiet buzz of a garden.
I know, it's probably old age. When I was young, sex pretty much eclipsed everything, and now, frankly, I don't give a damn.
To be honest, taking pictures of the water lilies is probably just as exciting.
This is what Thomas Gray heard and saw:
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds
(Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard)
Now here is what Goethe wrote (in a poem every schoolchild of my generation knows by heart - at least the first verse):
Über allen Gipfeln
In allen Wipfeln
Kaum einen Hauch;
Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
Here is how Longfellow translated it into English:
O'er all the hill-tops
Is quiet now
In all the tree-tops
Hardly a breath;
The birds are asleep in the trees:
Wait; soon like these
Thou too shalt rest.
Hello flowers, hello life, hello the sounds of silence!