Friday, June 14, 2024

reading between the flowers

I think teenager Cass makes a terrific point in The Bee Sting when she is irritated with the ubiquitous nature themes in poetry: “You go to class and discuss famous poems. The poems are full of swans, gorse, blackberries, leopards, elderflowers, mountains, orchards, moonlight, wolves, nightingales, cherry blossoms, bog oak, lily-pads, honeybees. Even the brand-new ones are jam-packed with nature. It’s like the poets are not living in the same world as you. You put up your hand and say isn’t it weird that poets just keep going around noticing nature and not ever noticing that nature is shrinking? To read these poems you would think the world was as full of nature as it ever was even though in the last forty years so many animals and habitats have been wiped out. How come they don’t notice that? How come they don’t notice everything that’s been annihilated? If they’re so into noticing things? I look around and all I see is the world being ruined. If poems were true they’d just be about walking through a giant graveyard or a garbage dump. The only place you find nature is in poems, it’s total bullshit." 

And I think of the message Mohamed Hussein in Gaza put out this morning: "This flower has bloomed next to my tent as if to tell me not to lose hope, that tomorrow the war will end, and everything will become beautiful. Life will surely blossom again."

And I think that's why. That's the answer to Cass. Hope enters our lives and stays as long there is a single bloom.

Pic: These flowers have bloomed next to our house as if to tell me...

7 comments:

Nance said...

Gosh, I loved each and every character in that book. Even the ones I wasn't supposed to.

I do see Nature as a sign of Beauty and of Hope. Nature always persists. Just look at the trees and grass and moss that grow in the cracks of sidewalks and asphalt. Nature always finds a way.

Nicole said...

Wow, what a depressing quotation. I always think of Mary Oliver's "Don't Hesitate" poem, when things feel grim.
Losing hope is what oppressors want! Bring on the flowers, Maya. xoxoxo

maya said...

Nance-YES to both of your observations here!I feel the same way.

Gillian--Thanks!

Nicole--I find your statement that the oppressors want us to lose hope extremely powerful. I agree, the forces that crush us want us to lose hope, because then we won't fight back. I looked up the poem... "Joy is not a crumb" Amen to that.

StephLove said...

It's not just poetry. I have friends whose whole FB feeds are nature pictures and I often post pictures of flowers from my yard or the neighborhood. I think we're just drawn to beauty, whether it's all around us or hard to find.

maya said...

Steph--Agree with you completely!

NGS said...

I am part of the Nature Gang. The world is better for me when I take a walk and notice the flowers or listen to the water. And maybe some of Nature is shrinking, but it's not shrinking in my backyard and I won't let it!

maya said...

Engie--You sound quite militant here--what with being in a gang and not letting nature get away with less than you expect! :D

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