Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls

Rarasaur has suggested (and who am I to disagree?) that in our unending quest to find reasons to blog, we might do worse than to think on the theme of wabi-sabi. For more details of her prompts for the promptless, read her post. As I have been caught up with work, I am utterly un-prompt in my response. Nevertheless, better late than never, as Grandma used to say.

Wabi-sabi is the beauty of the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is the beauty of things unconventional and modest.  It’s not just a style of art, it’s a world view.

I read the definition Rara thoughtfully provided, and immediately a poem popped into my addled brain. Honestly, I seem to go on about poetry all the time, which is very strange because while I enjoy it, I rarely read any poetry these days. I am beginning to wonder if my brain is trying to tell me something. Either that or the microwaves from the aliens’ Mothership are hooked on Rhyme and Reason. Well, why not? I expect they came to our planet to enjoy the culture, and they could do worse than school poetry books.

Which poem, EBL? you prompt your promptless correspoondent.

Oh, yes, my dears, that.

It was Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “Pied beauty”. GMH was a Victorian poet, but his style was quite new and different so although this poem was written in 1877 it wasn’t published until after the Great War more than 40 years later. I think that is fitting; the poem is about finding beauty in unconventional places and things, and so too I find beauty in his unconventional style. It just took publishers a while to catch up.

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things –

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;

And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

There are some gorgeous images in there. “Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls” – isn’t that just the most perfect way to describe those leaves in autumn as they drop from the trees to make bright, crunchy piles on the path for us to run through? I don’t know why that is so much fun, but it just is.

Even thinking about it makes me feel better. I’m not sure if it’s exactly wabi-sabi, but who cares?

Scuffle leaves with me and feel the love!

Namaste.

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11 thoughts on “Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls

  1. Pingback: Prompts for the Promptless – Ep. 1 – Wabi Sabi | rarasaur

  2. “Glory be to god for dappled things!” – lovely! What a wonderful poem! And you’re right, finding beauty in unconventional places is a wonderful example of wabi-sabi. Thank you for sharing the poem, and your interpretations, and thank you for for participating in Prompts for the Promptless!

  3. I think it’s the perfect choice. Haven’t read any Hopkins since uni, but I’m seriously considering hunting through boxes in the attic now to see if I still have anything. Thank you for the lovely images of the “fickle, freckled”…

    • yes, I read it in school, way back, and remembered it – digging it out has made em feel like finding more of his poetry too! I hadn’t realised before how he was not recognised at the time. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  4. Pingback: Wabi-Sabi Time Hunting | rarasaur

  5. Pingback: Prompts for the Promptless – Ep. 2 – The 11th Possibility | rarasaur

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