Saturday, May 11, 2013

housman takes a drive

The tropics are not the place for The Subtle.

Everything on the Mexico coast seems to be painted in broad strokes of color.  As if the entire beach was a stage for giant transvestites.

Take spring, for instance.  There is no missing its arrival.  Not with the fanfare played by the trumpet flowers on the primavera tree. 

Or, to translate directly from the Spanish -- the spring tree.  Or, if you wish to be formally introduced: tabebula serratifolia.  One of the few trees that are native to Mexico (and much of the Americas).

I was a bit concerned I was going to miss this year's Tweety Bird display.  But the new Escape gave me almost A.E. Housman access.  And out amongst the woodland went this fellow, to see the branches hung with yellow.  (There is a place in poetry Hell for the likes of me.)

Our rainy season will not begin for, at least, another month.  As a result, the jungle shrubbery is primarily nude. 

That gives the primavera the perfect setting to show off.  And show off it did.

On hills.  In fields.  In groves.  And stand alone trees.  Yellow rivers of blossoms.  Mexico City may have its famed banks of jacaranda, but I will stake its cousin the primavera up against it any day.

And, now that I have butchered his work,  here is Housman without a Cotton twist.  Just as I remember it from the sixth grade.

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,
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,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow. 
I had best enjoy it while I can.  By the poet's reckoning, I have six shows left.

No comments: