Monday, December 8, 2014

the alphabet of trees

The Botticellian Trees 

by William Carlos Williams

The alphabet of
the trees

is fading in the
song of the leaves

the crossing
bars of the thin

letters that spelled

and the cold
have been illumined

pointed green

by the rain and sun -
The strict simple

principles of
straight branches

are being modified
by pinched-out

ifs of color, devout

the smiles of love -

. . . .

until the stript

move as a woman's
limbs under cloth

and praise from secrecy
quick with desire

love's ascendancy
in summer -

In summer the song
sings itself

above the muffled words -

The 'ifs' of colour seem a long way from now, deep in winter as we are. All the trees are spelling winter now. It's all we can do now but silently read the messages of trees. Let the tired trees have their sleep, let them whisper what they can to the wind. I feel a close affinity with winter trees. Stripped down, silent, deeply sleepy, cold. And yet with so much to say. 

It's good, maybe on such a day as this, to sit with words by the artist, Andrew Wyeth:

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.”

1 comment:

  1. What a glorious light through the trees! I feel much the same way for trees, especially in september, before their burst into swan song, when the green in their leaves looks so tired, almost leaden. You wish them rest. I sometimes think/imagine that this winter rest is a most magical time, when all the beauty of the summer to come is still in that most important dream stage:)


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