japonisme: a thing of beauty

07 November 2007

a thing of beauty

for various reasons, japanese gardens spread throughout the west, and it was all due to the opening of japan. water lily gardens were planted throughout the west, the brooklyn botanical garden being the first public one, and they became a common symbol in the arts and crafts of the time.

as we've discussed here earlier, part of the impetus for this happening was the japanese gardens installed at the various world expositions which happened with regularity around the us and europe. the other reason was the emigration of a large japanese population to america's west coast. among them were students of their own culture and, probably most importantly, were gardeners.

To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young,
we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads
when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer
pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage,
that began without harm, scatters
into debris on the shore,
and a friend from school drops
cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us
past middle age, our wife will die
at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces
that she is temporary
is temporary. The bold woman,
middle-aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself
in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge
and affirm that it is fitting
and delicious to lose everything.

Donald Hall

Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.
Copyright © 2002 by Donald Hall. All rights reserved.


A thing of beauty is a
joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases;
it will never
Pass into nothingness;
but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
pite of despondence,
of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and
o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching:
yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty
moves away the pall
From our dark spirits.
Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of
the dooms
We have imagined for the
mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have
heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

John Keats

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Blogger Princess Haiku said...

So much beauty in a post leaves one rather light-headed.

Intoxicating, said Princess Haiku, even though the berry of the juice had never stained her lips.

Poor, dear John was not appreciated appropriately in his lifetime. Now, he has Lotus......

07 November, 2007 22:42  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

how you've made me smile now.

have you clicked the monet shots?

07 November, 2007 23:26  
Blogger Princess Haiku said...

Can you email me Lotus?

My other laptop died and along with it most of my e-contacts.

10 November, 2007 20:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you tell me about the Lotus watercolor? Does it have a signature stamp? Is it a print? Do you know its value? I have the same, purchased probably by my grandparents. I just discovered that it's valuable and would like to know more. Thanks so much.

19 February, 2015 12:18  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

I DON'T KNOW oops which one you think is a water color. You will find the artist's name by clicking on the image & reading the address line. I have no idea whatsoever on the worth of any of them.

19 February, 2015 12:32  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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