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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Blue Heaven


Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus): photo by Susanne Wilk, 31 October 2011


Sweet pea

...............................Bluebell spumoni

On white, please, and a dash of air
Here, too, where the sky is blue



from TC: Air, 1970

Russell Lupins: photo by aussiegall, 21 September 2007

File:May Bluebells.jpg

Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), Cumbria: photo by Dave & Lynne Slater, 2 May 2005


Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), Buckinghamshire: photo by Keith Hulbert and Paul Zarucki, 2 May 2005

File:Little Chittenden Wood - - 1861070.jpg

Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), Kent: photo by Oast House Archive, 16 May 2010

Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus): photo by rrusty, 8 August 2008


Anonymous said...

wonderful words ... they match so well with the photos...

Marie W said...

More air and more sweet peas, fantastic, that's exactly what we needed. Tom, when searching for Bluebells online I came across an article reporting this year's failure to bloom of a certain population of bluebells. Maybe it's true.

British Bluebells failed to bloom
- quiet despair -
the aniline carpet (remember last year?)
Silenced by sterile
Oh sweet pea, oh sweet pea
Your fragrance like manna to me

TC said...

Thank you my dears, the inspiration of the Sweat Pea Combine has once again impelled us forward, into the light... almost.

'Twould be fair to say I had not seen the actual day for a twelvemonth. Or has it been longer. (Time runs together when you're not having fun, don't they say that? But if so, who are they, and who has put them up to saying such things?)

That's what being scraped up off the freeway feeder by the Fatal Accident Team leaves one with, a sad-sack body bag in a box with the lid nailed on anew each morning.

More air! More light!

By Jove, I see Marie is right.

British Bluebells fail to bloom (Guardian, 15 April 2013)

But the story leaves hope that the blooming is still to come. Perhaps one of our UK friends (WB? Simon?) might confirm or deny, on this.

I do recall from deep in that other century the welcome floods and waves of bluebells arriving all at once in Maytime.

It will be noted that the first two bluebell photos here were taken on the same day in the first week of May, at opposite ends of the UK. And the third bluebell photo, the Kentish one, dates from mid-May.

John Keats in his May Odes of 1819 spoke of that being a "forward spring", as judged by the early appearance of nightingales in the northern suburbs of London.

A very backward spring it would be, indeed an almost Silent Spring, were there to have been a total absence of nightingales and/or bluebells!

My blue heavens, what would Jane Campion's Keats movie (Bright Star) have been without the Bluebells for the principals to roll about in!

And talking of intelligent Kiwi dames, the Angel at My Table has just now ventured down to the perilous marge of the freeway feeder and brought back a handful of the sadly withered remains of our wee bluebell patch. They bloomed three weeks ago, then died a week or so after that.

But they were very pretty while they lasted. An "aniline carpet" of midget dimensions perhaps, but still magical enough to temporarily waft one away... a few inches off the ground maybe.

And Our Man in Hellas may well now inform us that when the Sweet Peas of Meligalas perished of the heat two months ago, they took the Bluebells with them.

TC said...

Well, ahem, the comment about the "forward spring" of 1819 came not from JK but from his sometime friend Charles Brown, who used the phrase in retrospect, looking back (perhaps a wee bit creatively) on the weather of Hampstead in April / May 1819, and talking of Keats's composition of his Odes at the house they were then sharing at Wentworh Place.

And if all at sea, a handy "forward spring" will also help you float your boat.

TC said...

A man with white shoes, a pink coat and a blue piano who proposed to float his Blue Heaven across the Iron Curtain.

Marie W said...

Spring has been slow this year indeed, in this corner of the world as well. An aft spring? Thank goodness for The Angel at your Table. There will be a harvest.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Yep, the sweet pea patch has withered completely—it’s now wild lupine time, the surrounding countryside is dressed up in pale blue, the shepherds keep an eye out for their flocks just in case they bite off more than they should chew.



Yes, as Marie says, for bringing in the bluebells among other things, "Thank goodness for The Angel at your Table." Here in NYC it seems to be a forward spring too, some pale blue sky up there, green on the leaves out the window . . .


cloudless pale blue sky above shadowed
buildings, bird slanting toward branch
in foreground, sound of cars in street

variation in which the form
is the surface, place

which is again, whole field
at center, transposed

line of lights across plane of channel,
black shape of ridge to the left of it

Wooden Boy said...

There's always a pleasure in seeing colour show up in words, as if it were allowed to hold on to its life.

The whole poem's bright and alive. It hits like Spring (the season still struggling to happen here).

TC said...

Thanks all. The crows are railing against something, from their redwood perch. Traffic rolls past inexorably in cold fog. We do still have the blue irises.

I've always loved the colour words. Sometimes one is tempted to think all the rest are dross.