Friday, February 06, 2015

Winter Light Through the Willow

This is one of those odd things that happen when you photograph with an iPad
in strong light and you cannot really see the pictures until you get indoors.

Willow Poem

It is a willow when summer is over,
a willow by the river
from which no leaf has fallen nor
bitten by the sun
turned orange or crimson.
The leaves cling and grow paler,
swing and grow paler
over the swirling waters of the river
as if loath to let go,
they are so cool, so drunk with
the swirl of the wind and of the river—
oblivious to winter,
the last to let go and fall
into the water and on the ground.

William Carlos Williams
(1883 - 1963)

I have always been fascinated by the generation of so many outstanding artists and writers who were born between 1880-1884.  Picasso, T. S. Elior, W. C. Williams, Ezra Pound, James Joyce and so many more! Such amazing artistic ferment was about then. My own grandmother was born in 1880 in Southern Utah. In 1891, her father moved the younger half of his plural family to the Mormon Colonies in Northern Mexico. My grandmother was in the first graduating class from the Juarez Academy, a church high school. I think this was her only formal education. With her husband and two young children, she left Mexico during  a time of revolution and came to Southern Arizona in 1906, just before my mother was born in April. Grandma Susie spent the rest of her life in the Mesa, Arizona area far from the centers of world culture. She managed to persuade all seven of her children to graduate from college. The distance between her life and the lives of the people I just listed could hardly have been greater, And yet, there seems to have been room for people to reinvent themselves! 
I am reading a book on Kindle which is an appreciation of the work of W. C. Willimas by Wendell Berry. Berry has spent a lot of time with the body of Williams's work and has a true appreciation of it. I hope to quote some passages from it soon. In the meantime, you could do worse than spending some time with a nearby tree.

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