Going over the the publisher’s final edits of my book, I found I had no time to write this week. So I’m letting Ben Johnson do the reflecting for me today.
In a recent conversation with one of my readers (and blogging friends, see the comments for Revolution: a poem), I mentioned old Ben as a poet who has greatly influenced me. The poem below is the main reason why. Old classic style, I know, but with a timeless immediacy that spoke right to my heart when I first read it. (Especially given my shortened life span.) The fleetingness of beauty is an appropriate subject, I think, for this time of year. Enjoy!
It is not growing like a tree
In bulk doth make Man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere:
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night—
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be.
Ben Johnson’s poem found in
A Treasury of Great Poems, compiled by Louis Untermeyer, 1994 edition,
also found here:
Although crippled by disease, I am fully alive in love. I write about the profound wonder and terrible beauty of life while living with physical disability and severe dependency. Unafraid to ask life's big questions, I was briefly an atheist and considered other religions before finding, in God's choice to intimately share our humanity, what it truly means to be fully human. A revert to the Catholic Faith, I blog weekly and have written a book called It's Good to Be Here.