Vernal Expressions

The Enkindled Spring  – D.H. Lawrence

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.

My poetry/art mashups usually consist of one each: one poem, one painting. This time I’m treating us all to two artworks. The arrival of spring can’t be heralded enough as far as I’m concerned, especially this year, as we bid farewell to a fiercely harsh winter. D.H. Lawrence’s spring is a “leaping combustion” – described with heat-associated words like “flames”, “blaze”, “bonfire”, and “conflagration”, a vibrant expression of the flourishing, explosive growth of the season. Spring spreads like a wildfire in Lawrence’s poem.

Spring is also, to me, a time of discovery. Our old “friends” in nature – cherry blossoms, daffodils, the furry catkins on pussy willow branches – are born anew, and we delight in catching sight of them again. So here are two very different paintings from two very different artists of different periods, both expressing the joy of springtime discovery.

From Paul Gauguin, French Post-Impressionist, The First Flowers, 1888:

Gauguin-the-first-flowers-1888

And this one by British realist painter Frederick Walker, Spring, 1864:

FrederickWalker-spring

4 thoughts on “Vernal Expressions

  1. Bill says:

    Yes! I’ll take it — allergies and all!

    A nice selection — did anyone ever tell you that you have good taste? Definitely.

    If I could, I’d just like to add a link to a posting that features a Springtime piece by one of my favorites, Edward Gorey:
    http://goreyana.blogspot.com/2014/03/signs-of-spring.html

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      Love the Gorey! What a great illustrator he was. Thanks for sharing!
      As for allergies, I hope it’s not too bad this season. I need to get out to the park for some spring biking. I miss it.

      Thanks for your comments!

      Claudia

  2. Maurice says:

    The thing is here in New Zealand we are going into autumn and winter.

    Best wishes

    • artmodel says:

      Maurice,

      I’ve written a terribly Northern Hemisphere-centric blog post! Sorry about that 😉

      Hope your autumn transition is lovely. Thanks for commenting!

      Claudia

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