Friday, January 31, 2020

Poem 1923 + Photograph 2020

What are 97 years? Less than the blink of an eye ....

A winter Eden in an alder swamp
Where conies now come out to sun and romp,
As near a paradise as it can be
And not melt snow or start a dormant tree.
It lifts existence on a plane of snow
One level higher than the earth below,
One level nearer heaven overhead
And last year's berries shining scarlet red.
It lifts a gaunt luxuriating beast
Where he can stretch and hold his highest feast
On some wild apple tree's young tender bark,
What well may prove the years' high girdle mark.
Pairing in all known paradises ends:
Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends,
Content with bud inspecting. They presume
To say which buds are leaf and which are bloom.
A feather hammer gives a double knock.
This Eden day is done at two o'clock.
An hour of winter day might seem too short
To make it worth life's while to wake and sport.
"A Winter Eden"
By Robert Frost
Written in 1923; published in 1928


Anita said...

Beautiful music Fram!And also the photo.Is it at your place?
I must admit i had to translate and look at the meaning..To me the poem seems to be about the duality inherent in life. Eden itself was said to be a paradise on earth, a place without death, and Winter is traditionally seen as a time of rest and reflection, a time where death is closest to us in a sense.
100 years is nothing in the big picture..We are lucky to be born and see

As Queen Ingrid Ragnvalsdatter (1100-1161)said when the love of her life was killed( Ottar Birting )Nothing more in life can hurt me now.
I think it is a good post you have done today.Very reflective.I shall dwell upon it


Fram Actual said...

The site in the photograph actually is a long day's drive from my current residence and almost as far from my former Dakota home. I sort of stumbled onto it during a "voyage of exploration" not long ago. It is the kind of place where I would like to establish a more-or-less "permanent camp."

Robert Frost is one of my "favored" poets and I thought of this piece to accompany the photograph.

Part of the symbolism of the two together is that we all are very impatient/impetuous -- in a hurry for tomorrow to arrive -- when in reality life goes on with or without us and our time on Earth ordinarily is less than the "blink of an eye" in the overall scheme of things.

How much has the place in the photograph changed, for instance, since Frost wrote the poem and the photograph was taken?

Enough to notice a difference? Certainly.

Enough to make a real difference? Probably not.

It would be interesting to know the connection/relationship between winter and the Biblical concept of Eden in Frost's mind when he wrote the poem. If the setting of the Biblical stories had been Canada or Norway, rather than the Mediterranean region, I am sure they would have been very different.

Thank you, Anita, for coming and for writing. I see I have to brush up on my Norwegian history .... I love this song .... vær god, vær trygg, vær glad, norsk jente ....

Liplatus said...

Picture is a mild winter, the water is free.
The landscape can also be from Finland, so it looks the same.
Days are still short. Especially if the sun does not appear,
is gray and dark.
Bright days of spring are soon to come.

I enjoy music, lovely easy going. Thank you!

Fram Actual said...

Winter this year in the north central plains is sort of a mixed bag: Temperatures are milder than normal, while snowfall is somewhat above average. I read the ice cover on Lake Superior is only five (5) percent of the lake, while twenty-five (25) percent of the lake is typical for the end of January. The unique variations in temperature and snowfall do present areas of actual "winter wonderland," which is what the photograph reveals to me.

Many of those who came here from Scandinavian regions note the similarity in landscape and have said it made the transition easier for them.

It is not unusual to go for a number of days here without sight of the sun. To me, it is a mystery how people can adjust to life above the Arctic Circle and endure "sunless" months. To some degree, I need the sun both for physical and mental survival.

The song is among my favorites. In many instances, the lyrics and the tune must be "compatible" for me to really/really like a particular song. This is one such piece of music, and I am listening to it again now.

Thank you, Liplatus, for being here and for writing here. I am putting up another post for tomorrow in which the music is a bit louder and wilder, but the primary appeal (I think) lies in the video presentation. Take care / be safe / be happy ....

Something special ....