Friday, June 13, 2008

Poetry Friday

For Poetry Friday today, two poems that connect nature and human suffering. First, a spare and beautiful haiku from Basho, and second, a really interesting piece by Henry Timrod about the way nature can soothe and shield, or, seemingly, accuse.

In the cicada's cry
No sign can foretell
How soon it must die.

~~ Basho

The Summer Bower
by Henry Timrod

It is a place whither I’ve often gone
For peace, and found it, secret, hushed, and cool,
A beautiful recess in neighboring woods.
Trees of the soberest hues, thick-leaved and tall,
Arch it o’erhead and column it around,
Framing a covert, natural and wild,
Domelike and dim; though nowhere so enclosed
But that the gentlest breezes reach the spot
Unwearied and unweakened. Sound is here
A transient and unfrequent visitor;
Yet if the day be calm, not often then,
Whilst the high pines in one another’s arms
Sleep, you may sometimes with unstartled ear
Catch the far fall of voices, how remote
You know not, and you do not care to know.

(Read the rest of the poem here and click here for an interesting NYT piece on Bob Dylan and Henry Timrod.)

The Poetry Friday round-up is at A Wrung Sponge today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow... I've been reading Job lately, and that second poem points to some qualities in nature that remind me of God's reply at the end.

Interesting pairing.