Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

At this time of year I wish I could quote poetry like my mother.
I think she has a photographic memory, and can still quote
from almost all of the poetry she ever learned, or that made
an impression on her. What sends me hunting for a suitable
poet is wonder that I can't express myself in paint. For instance I have no idea how to paint my beautiful cherry tree. I think the tree may be about 10 years old, and it has given us so much pleasure. It was our first tree and technically we planted it in the wrong place . It's squeezed between our
garage and the neighbour's fence, in a space about six feet wide,
but it's undaunted by all that. Every year since we bought it, it's
produced more cherries than we can handle, and some of the
most delicious memories of early summer. I love picking
the lush fruit with the juice running down my arms, the wonderful
look of the silver colander full of cherries, and the pies.
Steven's bakes amazing sour cherry pies with perfect
latticed toppings.

In late June, early July we pick, and now our neighbours pick
the fruit, until we can't possibly stand to pick anymore, and
then we freeze quantities, try and figure out how to make sauce,
give some away, get out our pitters and pit. The sound of the pits
hitting the bowl is always cause for laughter.

Even in winter, covered with snow, the tree is beautiful.

Here is one of the poems by A.E. Housman that my mother
loved when I was a child:

A. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad. 1896.

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten, 5
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room, 10
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Have a poetic day!


Anonymous said...

My mother, who was born in 1922 could recite poetry at the drop of a hat too! It was wonderful. I suppose that there is something to be said for rote learning, eh?
I love that cherry tree! Beautiful!
PS: Cogratulations on your award a the DVAC. I'm not surprised....your work is wonderful, you artist you!

Barbara Muir said...

Hey -- I'd love to have all
those words rolling around
inside my head. Thanks for
your sweet comments. I was


Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!