Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Flowers: Echeveria

Echeveria Imbricata
Echeveria Imbricata

(By Robert Lowell)

History has to live with what was here,
clutching and close to fumbling all we had--
it is so dull and gruesome how we die,
unlike writing, life never finishes.
Abel was finished; death is not remote,
a flash-in-the-pan electrifies the skeptic,
his cows crowding like skulls against high-voltage wire,
his baby crying all night like a new machine.
As in our Bibles, white-faced, predatory,
the beautiful, mist-drunken hunter's moon ascends--
a child could give it a face: two holes, two holes,
my eyes, my mouth, between them a skull's no-nose--
O there's a terrifying innocence in my face
drenched with the silver salvage of the mornfrost.

Echeveria Pulvinata "Frosty"

Since we started this cycle of posts with desert flora, I figured we would close it out with some as well. So, here are a few photos of lovely echeveria from the Huntington Botanic Gardens. Looking at the varieties of echevaria in the conservatory, I actually started to develop a liking for these plants, becoming beguiled by their understated beauty. In times past, I would simply stroll right by them, ignoring their subtle grace.

So, even with all of my experience at pausing and appraising the wonders that surround me, I can be oblivious. Although a practiced aesthete, I can overlook splendors that bloom before me. Therefore, it is always good to have a friend who will lead one to appreciate that which is overlooked.

As for the poetry, today marks the birth date of Robert Lowell. Being an enthusiast of confessional poetry, I figured we would celebrate his works. Like the echeveria, they can be a bit dry or prickly, but, when experienced with an open mind, they have an undeniable beauty.

echeveria agavoides maria
Echeveria Agavoides "Maria"

So, let's listen to some poetry:

"Skunk Hour"

"The Public Garden"

"The Old Flame"

echeveria ballerina
Echeveria "Ballerina"


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