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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Andrew Marvell: Green Thought


Mountain Hemlock (Tsuga mertensia), Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
: photo by Walter Siegmund, 26 September 2007

Mean while the Mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness:
The Mind, that Ocean where each kind
Does streight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other Worlds, and other Seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green Thought in a green Shade.

Andrew Marvell (1621-1678): The Garden, stanza VI

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Dew on foliage of Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), Eunice Lake, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington: photo by Walter Siegmund, 20 September 2004

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Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii), foliage, French Creek Trail, Wenatchee Mountains, Washington
: photo by Walter Siegmund, 9 October 2005

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Grand Fir (Abies grandis), foliage underside, with Bigleaf Maple (fall foliage), Grand Fir and Douglas-fir behind. Kachess Ridge Trail, Wenatchee National Forest, Washington: photo by Walter Siegmund, 9 October 2005

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Yellow Cedar (Cupressis nootkatensis), cones and foliage, with Subalpine Fir trees beyond, Crystal Peak Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
: photo by Walter Siegmund, 25 September 2005

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Water-Parsley, aka Pacific Water-dropwort (Oenanthe sarmentosa), Loop Road, Washington Park, Anacortes, Washington:
photo by Walter Siegmund, 3 July 2009

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Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) on a Pacific Silver Fir (Abies amabilis) branch, Crystal Lakes Trail
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington: photo by Walter Siegmund, 22 October 2008

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American Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus), Deer Park Road, Olympic National Park, Washington: photo by Walter Siegmund, 3 July 2008

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Hoary Marmot (Marmota caligata), Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington: photo by Walter Siegmund, 24 August 2007

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American Black Bear (Ursus americanus), Mount Rainier National Park, Washington: photo by Walter Siegmund, 12 August 2008

Columbian Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), Coast Deer, male, Olympic National Park: photo by Walter Siegmund, 3 July 2008

Northern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedantum), Sycamore Access trail, Squak Mountain State Park, Issaquah, Washington: photo by Walter Siegmund, 15 May 2007


Susan Kay Anderson said...

Cool crisp there past
that's where he was
where he went
for solace
it wasn't far
but afterwards
one realized it took
a lot of work
whole heart
in those decisions

Susan Kay Anderson said...

"first thought..."

Second thought=green thought

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Oh Ursus americanus
your bouquet of fur
in all that green
the whole world waiting
for your breath
into action they go
there in the other
greener parts
ferns branches rivers
mountain places
the little buck waits
marmot whistling
slate rocks warm
not hunkered down yet

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Hair by Clairol
dress by I. Magnin
shoes by Nike
coffee: Starbucks
nails by biting
school by accident
family by fate
lunch: two slices of Muenster
view: fluorescent
idea: small disguise
thought: green

TC said...

The marmot has flattened its belly to maximize the pleasurable transfer of heat.

It must be morning, the sun just warming the rock, awakening the blood of the marmot.

It is the 24th of August on the day of the picture. The mornings are getting cooler, this far north.

It seemed unkind to sequester one's marmot in a shade, even a green shade, this morning.

Anonymous said...

a common green!

Jonathan Chant said...

Love that cobweb in the first picture.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Wondrous the poem and marvelous the photographs taking me back to where I used to live.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

The green Thought
I want to grab
minus the Shade
coming off the mirror
and that person
stranger that listens
to the pine fir spruce
their cones their needles

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Mr. Chant has an eye for mysterious details.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

They were unhappy no matter what I cooked that summer up at the City Watershed. Everything propane. I made cobblers, lasagna, cookies, and more-- all from scratch. But they liked watching when Craig made Arapahoe Glacier slide a bit with his explosives on the fourth.

At the food meeting, it was brought to my attention (they begged) that they preferred boxed mashed potatoes and hot dogs to tofu scramble and brown rice. I had wondered why they didn't act so hungry and figured that they were just overtired, possibly dehydrated, until one afternoon I spied and saw them (all) riding around on the dump truck without their shirts. Looked tough.

Highlights were finding ancient stone hunting blinds that the pica had taken over, seeing ptarmigans, and gazing into the icy turquoise lake after the lunch dishes were done. There was nothing I missed, Siamese cat by my side.

aditya said...

wonderful green!

forest trail dead-end
the pine needles point
in every direction



So great to SEE these greens in these photos, READ Marvell's "green Thought in a green shade" (again, just now, here).


light coming into fog against invisible
ridge, black shape of black pine branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

discover the object, to see
these elements better

perhaps in each other, each
other’s, then in such

grey white of fog against top of ridge,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

larry white said...

Green toilet by Ursus americanus.

Susan, what a green cascade. Aditya, profound needlework.
Stephen, on tip.
Tom, Mr. Marvel.

Dream Lover Undreamt

I hadn't seen, thought, or dreamed you,
much less asked you, for some dream time.
Yet here you were, flesh and dream composite.
Not another day, today.
Some crowded place at dusk, lights coming on,
a scene that fades pretty quickly
to your face registering surprise
but not displeasure when I ask you
if you would like to watch with me and Mother
a movie about some history. Your face then,
lovely young matron with daughters and husband
elsewhere of course, nodded such a sweet assent
to what became a comically grim descent,
a nightmare yet unfolding bright flashes of you
yielding now a veiling and unveiling through your eyes.

Mother had the news on, floods in full cry,
house the usual organized chaos.
Some laughs at that, shy nods at familiarity.
I fiddled too long with the video machine,
tape unspooling like squid spaghetti.
Without a bite, we two bowed out
to drive you home not to famished children
or husband exactly. We drove to your decoy parents,
a pair rented for a backwards nightmare
set in a flooded farmscape, or was it
a fishing village loud on a summer night's tide?
The shock and anger the old folks expressed
overpowering their glazed, futile hospitality,
to see me stupid, staring even
as you undressed your fine, sun-cured features,
tall, lithe and shameless
you were -- who was I?
I backed out to face the neighborhood, knowing,
relatives all full of taunts, a vengeful shivaree,
Mother's car shoved into the flood, a tin plate served me
slop I half-enjoyed until a grinning crone added
that there might be something added.
To which a young smirker sneered, "Yeah,
pigshit poo-poo!" Too literally true.
I could have laughed at the crude double negative
had it not been meant for me and my last meal.

And who were all these shades, your family?
Who were you with your husband
when you were with me -- to hell with the video-player?
Let the dream remind me, wound, unwound and rewound,
of a dreamscape, love, that could and cannot be.

Wooden Boy said...

"Annihilating all that's made
To a green Thought in a green Shade"

What a thing the imagination is for Marvell! Wiping away the whole order of steady resemblances in a stroke.

Thinking about the Cromwell posting some weeks back, it's strange to think that the author of those subtle lines and ambiguous figures reveals such an unruly energy here - creation swallowed up by unreal verdant shadows, caught in a thought's density.

TC said...

It is indeed a common green, the green of common nature's lifeblood. Yes, that wisp of cobweb in the top picture, so delicate; and the patches of white resin on the fir cones.

Granted the observed flora of the Yorkshire estate of the poet's employer Thomas Fairfax, at the confluence of the Wharfe and the Ouse, probably provided the immediate particulars, still the uncommon strength of this poem must derive from the quality WB here names --

"What a thing the imagination is for Marvell! Wiping away the whole order of steady resemblances in a stroke."

Over the past five months I have learnt that withdrawing from "pleasure less" (that absence of presence) sometimes seems the best or even only way (when there is little pleasure, much pain), still it's that crucial next step, the one Mr Marvel manages more deftly than anyone else has ever done, the [re]creation of green worlds in the mind, that's so very hard to negotiate... without treading upon the flowers.

The Mind, that clumsy muddy-boots clodhopper-in-sprite's clothing.