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Thursday, February 12, 2009

two rain haiku


winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) on my University's campus

haiku #1

FAITH

Faith is aconite
rising in February
warm in the snow bed

-Ruth M.


Normally aconite would rise in snow in February. This week it rose in rain, which I photographed, above. I wrote the haiku several years ago, when there was snow on the ground. I would not have known about aconite if it weren't for the composition professor whose office was next to mine. Professor Ellison provided expert and generous help with my writing assignments while I completed a BA in English part time. One snowy February day, he poked his bright face that defied gravity's wrinkles through my door and asked if I had seen the aconite blooming over by the river yet? "Aconite?" said I, clueless. "What's that?"

When I found out what it was, and saw it, I wrote this haiku. It's a simple poem, but the concept of a flower blooming in February in Michigan is profound.

Aconite is part of the buttercup family. Buttercup is a much more pleasant and fitting word than aconite - IMHO.




haiku #2

IN A STATION OF THE METRO


The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
-Ezra Pound

Writing his imagist haiku-like poem, Ezra Pound whittled thirty lines down to 14 words. He wrote it after being deeply moved by the beauty of faces in a crowd at the Paris Métro station La Concorde. "In a Station of the Metro" was one of the first poems I studied in poetry class. Now when I see black tree limbs in the rain, Mr. Pound's image comes to mind, then the words. This tree, below, is my favorite beech here on campus. The photo above is our spirea bush at home.

71 comments:

MAXIMUS said...

Ezra Pound lines for your stunning photos

"Siftings on siftings in oblivion
Till change hath broken down
All things save Beauty alone"

P.S. I've added a translator to my webpage. It seemed the most decent one. So if you wish to read anything it's most likely that you will get at least the message.

VioletSky said...

You are so right - flowers in February is an amazing sight for Ontario as well! (haven't seen any yet)

I have been so into Haiku lately and have been using them with my photos on my photoblog.

Anet said...

I've never seen a aconite. Where have I been? They are very sweet looking. Love the yellow and green. It sure is a nice sign of spring to come.
A very nice haiku to go along with it.

Susan said...

I have never in 55 years seen an aconite! Didn't know they existed! I think I like them even better than crocuses. Thank you for educating me, Ruthie.

I like the beech tree picture, too.

kanmuri said...

Lovely pictures, nice haiku :D

J and Z said...

ooo that was a perfect respite in my crazy day...beautiful, ruth...thank you

~*~

Christina said...

So glad I came to visit today. Ahh..beauty. : )

Mrs. M. said...

Uncle Bennett would be proud of your pictures, and Grandma of your words...

Really nice, Aunt Ruth...and as a reminder,

I love you.

dakota bear said...

I never knew there was a flower known as aconite. It is a beauty and the yellow is just perfect to brighten up a winter day.

Thank you for the haiku.

♥ Kathy said...

Beautiful pictures & beautiful words. Thank you for sharing them.

Nautankey said...

Wow....awesome haiku..you are making me to attempt writing some :).Don't wanna antagonize the japs.

Jane said...

You are so creative. Your posts are beautiful.

Loring Wirbel said...

All those years of living in Michigan and never seeing aconite. Wow.

Peter said...

I think that both haikus, yours and Ezra's, - and your accompanying words - show how important it is to see things positively!

Delphine said...

Well Ruth, an education for me today, I have never heard of an aconite before even worse did not know the word Haiku either!! and me a grammar school, huh! should have gone to university instead of having all those children ( smile).
So enjoyed this post today.

Bedse Caves said...

Beeeeeeaauutiful photographs :)

Bob Johnson said...

Such beautiful images again Ruth and I love your haiku, even more so then Ezra's, I think Ezra took one too many words out, hey but then I'm not a writer, so what do I know,lol.

shoreacres said...

Hello, Ruth,

Nothing is more wonderful than having someone pull a forgotten bit from the back of my mental closet. I loved Pound's verse, and haven't thought of it in years.

Aconite is new to me, too. In Iowa, forsythia were the first spring flowers. Their particular beauty was a willingness to come indoors and be forced into bloom. I always loved looking at them on winter nights.

Your photography is beautiful.

Ginnie said...

All those years for me, too, living in Michigan and never seeing a Buttercup, except on G'ma's passed-down dishes! One day I would like to be a Buttercup...a Phoenix rising from the ashes....

photowannabe said...

Love the haiku and the hope of Spring. A beautiful serindipity in the depths of winter.

Beetle said...

The aconite is a lovely splash of yellow. Such a spring colour :O)

I am finding it a bit hit and miss with my new lens. I wish I could take photos like that!

dutchbaby said...

Your blog is poetry for the eyes and for the soul!

Anna said...

Oh Ruth these are stunning images, especially the second one. Anna :)

Helena said...

I love haikus!

And such beautiful photos you have chosen for them.

Oliag said...

Gorgeous photos Ruth! and wonderful poetry to go with them...especially yours!

I think I have heard of aconite but I have never seen one blooming...this looks like something I should plant...maybe near some snowdrops...If aconite are blooming can spring be far away?

Beech trees and their leaves are wonderful aren't they? I've been trying to capture exactly when they fall before the new leaves grow in spring...

wildpic said...

time...time....time..
cock-rock-co...morning again..

cheers !

Deslilas said...

Trolle d'Europe(fr), kullero(finnish), smörbullar ( butter ball Swedish).

We can see this flower in French Alpes in May !

Ruth said...

MAXIMUS, I'm thinking about those Pound lines. Thank you.

And I appreciate the translator. That's pretty cool and easy!

Ruth said...

Hey, Sanna, I had to get down close to the ground by the tree where these are growing to see them. I couldn't see them walking up. You can see there are leaves that need to be raked out gently.

I think in these trying times especially, simple, minimal things like haiku can be satisfying.

Ruth said...

Hi, Anet, you were in the same place I was - oblivion. It seems we are in very good company though.

And look out the window at the white stuff: 3 inches and falling!

Ruth said...

Susie Q, I am happy to pass on the education I got from old Professor Ellison.

Strange isn't it, how beeches and oaks keep their leaves through the winter?

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Kanmuri. :)

Ruth said...

J and Z, I'm glad these simple things helped.

Ruth said...

Christina, I'm glad you came too. You bring beauty with you.

Ruth said...

Ohh, hi there, Mrs. M.. Thank you for that family love - bringing Bennett and Grandma, and then your "I love you." I love you too.

Ruth said...

Dakota Bear, I wish I could show you a picture of it in snow, which is such a surprise.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Kathy, and you're welcome. I hope things are warming up in TX, but not too hot.

Ruth said...

Hey Nautankey, you're a good writer, you wouldn't antagonize. I'd like to see you write funny ones.

Ruth said...

Ah, thanks, Jane! And welcome. I just enjoyed my visit to Before I go to Bed a lot. Then I clicked on your dad's blog link, and you know what I have a vision of in my eyes. :)

Ruth said...

Loring, the thing is, as you well know, MSU is a horticultural playground. Of course they would have these flowers which we'd never heard of.

Ruth said...

Peter, I think beauty is easy to find everywhere. Sometimes it's painful, even so.

Ruth said...

Delphine, glad you found a couple nuggets here!

No, you did right to have your four girls.

Ruth said...

Thank youuuuuuu, Bhavesh.

Ruth said...

Bob, well thanks. Pound's is pretty minimal, I know. I love it though. Glad you like mine. :D

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

hehh Ruth, What an awsome post!

I like prefere the 2th pho with haiku only I do NOT understand the words with the pho, I was thinking of tears from nature...

what the heck you have made your words and they are great!

Happy weekendwishes and,
Happy Valentine wishes for you , your family and friends, from JoAnn's D Eyes /Holland

Ruth said...

Thank you, Linda.

Forsythia's yellow (Crayola could use 'forsythia' for a yellow crayon, eh?) is a delicate nudging into spring from winter. I have never forced them to bloom indoors, but I've wanted to, it would be such a joy to see them on a winter day.

I am still so excited that you wrote your excellent Crayola post expressing the same ideas I've been working on!

Ruth said...

Boots, I do love those dishes (they're in my cupboard :). I saw buttercups in July in Switzerland. I wonder if other buttercup family members rise this early.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Sue. This time I had to go looking for them, couldn't see them from a distance.

Ruth said...

Babs, oh that's too bad about the lens. I hope you can figure out its strengths.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Very beautiful, all...

shicat said...

Hi Ruth, what a treat to see anything bloom in the winter. Now that the snow has melted I can see some green. Sometimes green is good:) Yesterday, I visited my girlfriends flower shop and couldn't resist the stock,at least I think that's the name of the flower. It blooms for a long time and has a great scent. I thought I would paint them but they look kinda complicated. Anyway, today is Saturday and I think I'll set time aside to paint. There is a light dusting of snow this morning ,quite beautiful. I love the photos, the black and white especially. I didn't realize Beech trees held their leaves in the winter? Have a peaceful weekend:)

shicat said...

Ruth, Just read the comment about Forsythia,my freind had branches in her shop that she was forcing into bloom. I thought it was a little early but evidently not so?

Ruth said...

Hi Dutchbaby! Thank you, my dear.

Ruth said...

Anna, thank you. It was a pleasure to discover the spirea this way, such clear drops of rain.

Ruth said...

Hi, Helena, one thing I like about haiku is how they usually bring nature into the lines.

Ruth said...

Oliag, that's a good idea to watch the beech for the leaf changeover. This one is directly across the street from my office building, so I will happily go check it periodically. Thanks for the idea!

Thank you for your kind words.

Ruth said...

Oh hi, and welcome, Wildpic, I enjoyed your very sweet haiku. :)

Ruth said...

Daniel, I saw buttercups in the Swiss Alps in July too!

Thank you for the multi-translations.

Ruth said...

Hi, JoAnn, well no worries about connecting the photos with the poems. They are loose connections, same with the post title.

Thank you for the Valentine's Day greeting, and the same to you!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Gwen.

Ruth said...

Cathy, I love love love stock. It is soft, like snapdragons and orchids, that velvety skin, but softer.

I look forward to see what you'll paint.

You just have a dusting of snow? We have 4 inches already, and it's still falling!

Truthfully, until Oliag mentioned it, I hadn't thought about beeches keeping their leaves until spring either. I knew oaks did that. Now I want to watch when they fall.

As for forcing forsythia, I think you can do it even earlier than this, maybe?

California Girl said...

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Love your site, your photos, writing, quotes and especially, your chickens!

ds said...

Beautiful post,Ruth! Don't know much about Pound, but will definitely investigate! thanks.

rauf said...

me clueless Ruth,
me blink blink

Ruth said...

Dear California Girl, thank you so much! That is a lovely honor, and I love what the award stands for. No "self-aggrandizement" for one thing.

Ruth said...

DS, if you do, I will too.

Ruth said...

rauf, hehe, I think I put too much into the post. But mainly, I just wanted to share short poems that connect with nature and this time of year. Thank you for trying.

renaye said...

amazing pictures. will try to write haiku based on ur photos too.

Ruth said...

Cool, Renaye! I hope you'll share it/them.

humanobserver said...

Amazing clarity in the pictures :)

Ruth said...

Thanks, Deepak, I find rainy day pictures turn out the best. I would have liked more detail in the yellow of the flower, but I have to work on aperture and exposure.