(By Edward Hirsch)
We couldn't tell if it was a fire in the hills
Or the hills themselves on fire, smoky yet
Incandescent, too far away to comprehend.
And all this time we were traveling toward
Something vaguely burning in the distance-
A shadow on the horizon, a fault line-
A blue and cloudy peak which never seemed
To recede or get closer as we approached.
And that was all we knew about it
As we stood by the window in a waning light
Or touched and moved away from each other
And turned back to our books. But it remained
Even so, like the thought of a coal fading
On the upper left-hand side of our chests,
A destination that we bore within ourselves.
And there were those--were they the lucky ones?-
Who were unaware of rushing toward it.
And the blaze awaited them, too.
I love the easy flow and conversational quality to Edward Hirsch's poetry. Some poets construct real tongue-twisting verses, which may be awesomely profound to read or hear performed, but are a total pain to actually recite. Hirsch has a natural talent at forming poems that almost leap off the tongue with a effortless elegance.
|Rhododendron: Vireya close up|
And what of the rhododendrons? Well, although I was at the Descanso Gardens to see the camellia show last weekend, I couldn't pass up photographing these pretties while I was there. ;-)
And like Hirsch's poetry, the rhododendrons have a mellow, understated beauty to them, a loveliness that rewards deeper scrutiny.
|Rhododendron: A cluster of yellow vireyas|
And in celebration of Hirsch's 62nd Birthday, let's look at a few vids featuring his poetry.
"A Partial History of My Stupidity"