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.
Photo by Rafael Zamora on Unsplash
Ben Johnson’s poem found in
A Treasury of Great Poems, compiled by Louis Untermeyer, 1994 edition,
also found here:
Christina Chase View All
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.
Thank you, Christina! That is a poem worth contemplating. And I see you did take time to write, after all! I mean, one good sentence or paragraph is a fair flower. God bless you!
😀 Thanks for that! Pax Christi
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I love the old style poetry. It speaks to my heart more easily, just as your writings always move my heart and soul.
Blessings and peace to you…
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I’ve been traveling. Drifting too. And trying to curtail screen talk so I can attend better to persons here in my home, my daily rounds, faces I can smile with.. But I looked here just now, and . . . Wow. . . I do understand. This is a poem to treasure. Glad to have re-discovered it (So many from long ago have disappeared from my head. It’s good to have this one back!)
Yes, best to be with the plants and flowers of light who are near and dear to you, face-to-face. Old Ben would agree. (And you’re welcome for returning a treasure to you!) Peace and blessings, Al!