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Thursday, May 20, 2010

o reino das flores




o reino das flores

This wind break - the old chicken coop,
with windows done up like eyes
looking out as far as they can see
through sails of iris soft
and thin as garlic paper;
imperial cat S-weaving through the columbine,
her neat petal feet calibrated to the spaces between
those purple jester crowns
tipped in dew bells;
the kingdom of ants who circumnavigate
peony globes on streams of nectar;
and I ask, Who is the king of these?
Magellans on peaceful currents without ships
or an eye for stars and coasts,
with only endless curves
and tireless legs.


o reino das flores: the kingdom of flowers in Portuguese, Magellan's language
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38 comments:

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Beautiful, Ruth. There is true royalty in your garden today. I love the 'purple jester crowns tipped in dew bells', the sailing on 'streams of nectar', the 'endless curves and tireless legs'. Memorable.

Gwei Mui said...

I'm there staring out of the green grass and watching the flowers sway in the may breezes. I can smell the perfume!

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Lorenzo. I was a little heavy on the adjective-noun combos, so it pleases me that you liked them all the same.

Ruth said...

And welcome, Gwei Mui, I thought I saw you there, behind the window.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

In reply to what you say about being heavy on the adjective-noun combo, it certainly doesn't sound or feel heavy, perhaps because in many cases you recruit nouns (things) to act as adjectives —as in garlic paper, jester crowns, dew bells— or press verbs into service as adjectives —endless, tireless. I wouldn't change a word of it

*jean* said...

beautiful post, ruth

Claudia said...

Very maritime perspective. A scent of sea, flowers and Summer carried on a soft breeze comes across in this beautiful poem.

Magellan was Portuguese but he was working for the Spanish Crown when he sailed across the globe. I love his Portuguese name - Fernão de Magalhães. It has a beautiful, poetic sound which Magellan just doesn't have.

Ants fascinate me. As long as they're not indoors, that is. They are so communitarian, organized, tireless and purposeful. I tend to be the exact opposite.

Thank you for the Portuguese title.

Ruth said...

That makes sense, Lorenzo. I love getting your feedback, you're a remarkable poet.

Ruth said...

I appreciate that, Jean. :)

Ruth said...

Dear Claudia, thank you.

I am so glad you wrote what you did about Magellan's name in English. When I was reading about him yesterday, I saw his Portuguese name, for the first time, and I felt just what you did. I wished I could hear you, or João, say it, it must be very beautiful. It even looks more beautiful than English. And yes, he explored for Spain. There were many countries represented in his armada. And he died in the Philippines before the expedition reached the end.

I watch ants work, and I am ashamed. And yet not, I'm proud too.

Thank you so much for your good comment.

Snappy Di said...

Your words are lovely, but it's the photo that has captured my attention. *smiles*

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Ruth said...

Yay, Di!

Loring Wirbel said...

This belongs on the crest of Prince Henry the Navigator.

Deborah said...

There is no apparent limit to your creative talents, Ruth. I thought your poem was gorgeous, and particularly liked the line 'the kingdom of ants who circumnavigate
peony globes on streams of nectar'. Exquisitely, beautifully put. I'm going to try and use the motivation I got from reading this to put down some more prose this morning.

Sandy said...

ahhh exquisite poem and image.

photowannabe said...

A Word-crafter...that's what you are Ruth. Beautiful work and your Iris has a royal feel to it.

Marcie said...

Beautiful..simply beautiful!!!

deb said...

I read this earlier today, and didn't get to ask you if it was yours..
and I'm back , and realize it is.
and it's fabulous.
the photo too.

Susan said...

The photo is gorgeous, of course, but you could have put only the words and I would have seen a movie in my mind. Another one for the book.

Terresa said...

I echo Lorenzo...I wouldn't change a word of it, either. It reads smoothly, profoundly. The imagery is fresh, with excellent word choice.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Loring (I think, right?). I had to look him up. There is no end to what I do not know. Not that the information storm isn't trying.

Ruth said...

Deborah dear, that is a terrific compliment. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Auntie Sandy, aka painter bug. :)

Ruth said...

Sue, thank you for that, because there is nothing I enjoy more than smithing words.

Ruth said...

Oh thank you so much, Marcie.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Deb, very much, and for coming back.

Ruth said...

Well I like that, dearest Susie.

Ruth said...

Terresa, fellow word-lover, thems are good words from you. Thank you.

Claudia said...

Prince Henry the Navigator is one of the most cherished historical figures in Portuguese history. His vision, thirst for knowledge and desire to conquest the unknown triggered the great Age of Discovery in 15th century Europe.

Vagabonde said...

Love, love that flower and the poem.

Oliag said...

The title is poetry itself...I love the Portuguese, navigation, flower association...as much as I love this photograph!

ds said...

I thought "petal feet" was a nice touch, too (in addition to the others). You may not know who is the king, but I can tell you the Queen.
Beautiful.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Claudia. As you see, I am an abysmal history student. :|

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Vagabonde.

Ruth said...

I agree, Oliag, that Portuguese is very beautiful. I would like to hear it spoken.

Ruth said...

DS, you are too sweet.

Jeanie said...

What a beautiful poem and photo to illustrate it. I so gravitate to Irises. Perhaps it is because that was my aunt's name, and whenever I see one, I think of her. Lovely.

Ruth said...

Jeanie, so, like my dad's oak book case represents him, an iris represents your aunt.