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Thursday, 12 May 2011

Andrew Marvell: Bermudas


Ile aux Cocos (Rodrigues Island): photo by B. navez, October 2006

Where the remote Bermudas ride
In th’ Ocean’s bosome unespy’d,
From a small Boat, that row’d along,
The list’ning Winds receiv’d this Song.
......What should we do but sing his Praise
That led us through the wat’ry Maze,
Unto an Isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own?
Where he the huge Sea-Monsters wracks,
That lift the Deep upon their Backs,
He lands us on a grassy Stage;
Safe from the Storms and Prelat's rage.
He gave us this eternal Spring,
Which here enamells every thing;
And sends the Fowl's to us in care,
On daily Visits through the Air.
He hangs in shades the Orange bright,
Like golden Lamps in a green Night;
And does in the Pomegranates close,
Jewels more rich than Ormus show's.
He makes the Figs our mouths to meet;
And throws the Melons at our feet.
But Apples plants of such a price,
No Tree could ever bear them twice.
With Cedars, chosen by his hand,
From Lebanon, he stores the Land.
And makes the hollow Seas, that roar,
Proclaime the Ambergris on shoar.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The Gospels Pearl upon our Coast.
And in these Rocks for us did frame
A Temple, where to sound his Name.
Oh let our Voice his Praise exalt,
Till it arrive at Heavens Vault:
Which thence (perhaps) rebounding, may
Eccho beyond the Mexique Bay.
......Thus sung they, in the English boat,
An holy and a chearful Note,
And all the way, to guide their Chime,
With falling Oars they kept the time.

Andrew Marvell (1621–1678): Bermudas, n.d., in Miscellaneous Poems, 1681

File:Twin lychees (Litchi chinensis)-source.JPG

Réunion Island. Lychees are fruits of a tree (Litchi chinensis) belonging to the family of Sapindaceae. Fruits derive from flowers with 2 (or sometimes 3) carpels. Usually only one carpel develops, but we may find some twin lychees when both carpels develop: photo by b. Navez, 6 January 2008

File:Mangifera indica var. José.JPG

Mangos (Mangifera indica) in an orchard, Réunion Island: photo by B. navez, 6 February 2008

File:Cosmos sulphureus flowers.JPG

Cosmos sulfureus flowers, Réunion Island: photo by B. navez, 30 March 2008

File:Dombeya acutangula Apis mellifera3.JPG

Dombeya acutangula flowers and a honey bee (Apis mullifera)
collecting pollen: photo by B. navez, February 2008

File:Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower 2.JPG

Hibiscus flower (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), in my garden, Réunion Island: photo by B. navez, 12 January 2008

File:Gossypium herbaceum flower.JPG

Levant's Cotton Flower (Gossypium hirsutum), l'Etang Salé forest, western shore of Réunion Island: photo by B. navez, 31 May 2006

File:Hibiscus boryanus (orange flower).JPG

Hibiscus boryanus (orange flower variety), Réunion Island: photo by B. navez, 25 February2006

File:EuropaIsland FeralGoats.JPG

Feral goats on Europa Island: photo by B. navez, February 2008

Tens of thousands of Sooty Terns (Oncyoprion fuscatus syn.
Sterna fuscata), circulating above nesting areas in the steppes of Europa Island
: photo by B. navez, July 2005

Frigatebirds on Europa Island: Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor),
male with red throat; and Lesser Frigatebird (Frigata ariel), with white chest: photo by B. navez, July 2005




. . . THOUGHT I send this yesterday but it seems to have been disappeared into the virtual world, so here again:

yes, "that dreamed place," roll clouds here, there. . . .


grey whiteness of cloud against shadowed
plane of ridge, blackness of pine branch
in foreground, sound of waves in channel

now changing tone, as found
probably among others

this plane, could look like
some system, stimulus

grey-white clouds reflected in channel,
whiteness of gull gliding toward ridge


PS And to that let me add, no roll clouds today, no
sooty terns or frigate birds, but lots of "list'ning Winds" (though one never known whether they or anyone else has "receiv'd this Song". . . .


light coming into sky above still black
ridge, faint silver of planet by branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

this one marked by rhythmic
play of dashes, lines

present at each moment, yet
is “now,” “no longer”

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
grey whiteness of fog across from point

Anonymous said...

The delicate contrast between Steve's two poems and the Marvell, and the collected images, nicely ease my entry into this evening, which will be fairly eventful. Thank you both. I really love Bermudas and feel like carrying a copy around in my wallet.

TC said...

Curtis, I always keep Bermudas in a waterproof compartment of my imagination.

Steve, about that mysterious disappearance: on Thursday night a lab pixie from the Blogger fidget-and-widget department, who'd been to S&SW and hiccuped an idea, spilt a bit of code and poof! a trillion blog posts and comments dropped out of the Cloud for about 36 hours. Screens went dead and dashboards were locked up all over many parts of the globe, including here... and Pittsburgh.