The Poetry of Spring


To surrender to the rhythms of seasons and flowerings and dormancies is to savor the secret of life itself.
— Wayne Muller

Flowers are like poems for the eyes. The curve of petal and bend of leaf lead me into the heart of creation. I must capture that fleeting floral beauty on camera for later contemplation, because spring comes and goes so swiftly here in the South. There may be only three or four days to enjoy the perfection of apple blossoms or iris or magnolia. The weather can suddenly become hot and humid, forcing the blossoms to open and die, sometimes within hours. Then a front blows through, and a cold snap can burn tender blossoms. Still, there are many perfect, perfect days that allow me to gather my bouquet of visual beauty and revel in the glorious light of spring. Here are a few of the jeweled blossoms I gathered this spring.  

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
— Mark Twain


There is nothing more peaceful than the dappling of light through the leaves of my cottage garden’s apple tree with an early moon.
— Alice Meynell

Everything is poetry
A leaf falling to earth
The crickets humming an end of summer song in the trees
Sun slanting through the door
Painting the carpet with clear light
Poetry is in me
Coming through every pore
My eyes and ears and heart
Attuned to its music
Poetry wants to be born in me
It has been simmering 
Under the surface
Now it leaps and bubbles out
Dancing through the pencil
Onto the paper
Spilling its clear light
Onto the page

There is poetry in commerce
It is not left home 
When I lock the door
And go out into the streets of the city
It is in the ribbon of road
Unfurling before me
The stoplight turning from red to green
It is the traffic of the city
Rushing endlessly to get somewhere
Only to turn around and go the other way 
At the end of the day
It is in barges on the river and ships coming into port
Strong men unloading
Treasures from distances too wide to measure
And loading grain and goods for daily bread
Somewhere else

Poetry is in cookbooks
The lists of ingredients 
Litanies of possibilities 
Combinations of delicious
2 teaspoons of salt, preferably sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil, fruity and warm sweet flavored
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
About 20 minutes later
Simmered gently
And offered as filling feast
Even if it is merely
Simple soup and bread
Poetry in cookbooks
Vegetarian feasts
Around the world old and new
Home cooking and exotic fare
Every book a traveler’s guide
Tasted on the tongue

Everything is poetry
A simple cup of jasmine tea
Instant oatmeal in a white bowl
The truck driving down the street
The opossum and rabbit 
Pausing in the grass
The little girls next door
Still leaping and laughing on a trampoline
(even if now only a memory)
The quiet morning
Spilling into my soul
Through sounds
        and scents
         and traveling imagination
Poetry is in me
And so I find it

~ Candy Paull 



I had not the smallest taste for growing plants, or taking care of them. My whole time passed in staring at them, or into them. In no morbid curiosity, but in admiring wonder.
— John Ruskin

Spring is the best time for photos here in Middle Tennessee. It comes and goes so quickly. I love to go to Cheekwood and take flower photos. I was playing around and realized that the camera can take me deeper and deeper into the heart of a blossom. Instead of taking a journey to the center of the earth, I go into the heart of the tulip. Follow me from one part of the garden to another, via the tulip vortex. 

Into the tulip vortex....

(Click on the gallery photo to take you even deeper into the tulip vortex.)

Good heavens, of what uncostly material is our earthly happiness composed… if we only knew it. What incomes have we not had from a flower, and how unfailing are the dividends of the seasons.
— James Russell Lowell

Oh, Spring is surely coming,
Her couriers fill the air;
Each morn are new arrivals,
Each night her ways prepare;
I scent her fragrant garments,
Her foot is on the stair.
~John Burroughs



There is more beauty in a single flower than could adorn all the greatest cathedrals of the world.
— John Ruskin


Art is the increasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers—and never succeeding.
Marc Chagall

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.

The amen of nature is always a flower.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

It seems indeed as if peace and nutriment from heaven subtly filter into me as I slowly hobble down these country lanes and across fields, in the good air—as I sit here in solitude with Nature—open, voiceless, mystic, far removed, yet palpable, eloquent Nature. I merge myself in the scene, in the perfect day. 
Walt Whitman 

Let this or any time you practice be your time for letting go of all doing, for shifting into the being mode, in which you simply dwell in stillness and mindfulness, attending to the moment-to-moment unfolding of the present, adding nothing, subtracting nothing, affirming that “This is it.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Ah, how wonderful is the advent of the Spring!—the great annual miracle.... which no force can stay, no violence restrain, like love, that wins its way and cannot be withstood by any human power, because itself is divine power. If Spring came but once in a century, instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake, and not in silence, what wonder and expectation would there be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change!
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.
— Pablo Neruda





Beneath the fruit tree boughs that shed
Their snow white blossoms on my head,
With brightest sunshine round me spread
Of spring’s unclouded weather,
In this sequestered nook how sweet
To sit upon my orchard seat!
And birds and flowers once more to greet,
My last year’s friends together.
— William Wordsworth

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