Monday, November 26, 2012

Autumn Flame

The Larch
A prose poem by Alexander Solzhenitsyn


All we see when we look at her are needles and more needles.
Obviously another conifer then?
But not so fast.


As autumn sets in,
the deciduous trees around her start to shed their leaves,
almost as if death were upon them.
And then, is she commiserating?


I won't desert you!
The rest of my kind can winter safely here without me -
she too begins to shed.


And how suddenly her leaves shower down -
in festive, glinting sparks of sunlight.


Do we conclude that there is a softness at her very heart?
Wrong again!

The texture of her wood is among the toughest in the world -
not every axe can get the better of it,
it is too dense to drag and float downstream,
and, far from rotting when abandoned in the water,
it draws ever close to the eternal strength of stone.


But when the gentle warmth of spring creeps back in...
why not spread our foliage anew,
why not rejoin our kin,
arrayed in needles as soft as silk?

One could point to people who share those same qualities.




47 comments:

  1. Hi Rosemary, you have beautiful and appropriate images to illustrate and accompany Solzhenitsyn's poem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I'm happy his words were so perfect for the photos I had taken :)

      Delete
  2. beautiful words & gorgeous pics. so lovely. the pine cones are just amazing. ( :

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Beth, the pine cones, reddish and curled, are quite different from the other firs we have here.

      Delete
  3. What a beautiful poem, Roesemary!
    But your fotoshoot is as beautiful too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I was very happy to discover this wonderful poem :)

      Delete
  4. Beautiful pictures Rosemary, also very beautiful words you have written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Irma, I wish they were my words but instead they are those of a wonderful writer, Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

      Delete
  5. I find larches (and Dawn redwoods) unsettling in fall, when they look brown and you think they are evergreens. You think they died even though they are simply letting their leaves go like the rest of the forest. But your pictures and this lovely poem have made them beautiful. Really beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right Laurrie, it was only in doing the research to find the name of this tree that I discovered that they lose their needles every fall :)

      Delete
  6. Hello Rosemary!
    Lovely photos of a great tree.
    Larch is beautiful at any time of the year.
    Its cones are a great decoration for Christmas.
    Lucia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Lucia, I agree with you, larches are beautiful all year round :)

      Delete
  7. Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up!valentines teddy bear

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's very sweet of you to say, thanks for your visit and have a great day!

      Delete
  8. Very lovely, both pictures and words. Just what I needed on a cold not-yet-but-feels-like winter morning, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad I could brighten up your computer screen for a few moments!

      Delete
  9. Such a special tree, the larch or larix. I love how it goes through the changes of the seasons. And I love to have some bare larch branches with cones in the house around this time of year.
    bye,
    Marian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, I hadn't thought to bring some of that joyous colour inside, thank you!

      Delete
  10. I agree with Laurrie, Larches and Dawn Redwoods always make me think that they are dying in the fall. The words you've chosen do make one think again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like both of you, I had also thought the tree was dying, but now I'm happy to know they'll be back in the spring!

      Delete
  11. Lovely poem and photos. We don't have a lot of evergreens where we live now. But I remember the redwoods when we lived in No. Cal. Breathtaking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy there are a lot of evergreens were I live, otherwise the landscape would look horribly bleak all winter :)

      Delete
  12. Belo poema e excelentes fotografias....
    Cumprimentos

    ReplyDelete
  13. Rosemary, your images and Solzhenitsyn's words inspired me to go out and take a long look at my larches in this, their browning stage. Both tough and tender, they are, and yes, reflecting a combination found in some people – and a good number of plants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky you, to have these beauties in your own garden. There is so much value in the larch's bark, sap and roots, I had no idea! I suppose this is also true for a lot of plants and people :)

      Delete
  14. Inspiring and beautiful combination with words of a great writer of our time with such a timeless tree.

    Even though I live in a much different climate we have our Bald Cypress to look to this time of year for similar inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love how writing a blog encourages us to expand our minds. In looking up the name of this tree I discovered what an important wood it was for canoes, shipbuilding, glue and medicine. Then, when searching for a poem to use with my photos, I discovered the amazing life and talent of Alexander Solzhenitsyn!

      Delete
  15. I love the words. It's so true. I planted a tree like this...the Leyman's to offer green when in winter there is none left on the other trees. Such beautiful pics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love discovering things! I initially took the picture because the sun had lit it up like a burning flame. Identifying the tree name led me to the history of the tree, which led me to the poet. Awesome suff!

      Delete
    2. That's the best part of this blogging. For the art of photography and writing, for the knowledge and discovery of all things new to us, and connecting with others. I'm constantly learning. I feel like I get smarter every week from this:) I finally had a chance to sit down and read. It has been crazy over here....we're installing a fountain, working with Audubon, and of course finals for the kids. It's all a little overwhelming:) Hope your days are slower and less frantic:)

      Delete
  16. Rosemary, I love this Solzhenitsyn's poem! His character was also resistant to rot and he was not drowning in the turbulent flow.
    Not every 'axe' was able to break Solzhenitsyn. I was glad when he came back to Russia.
    The wonderful photos of larch, it is like him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nadezda, I only just discovered this amazing writer. He would be so proud that you compare his to this wonderful, strong but tender, tree.

      Delete
  17. The poem suits your beautiful photos perfectly!
    Not the best of luck to have such a hard heart... man and his chain saws must be too happy!
    Very few fir trees have their needles turne yellow!
    A lovely post!
    Cheers, Rosemary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am very happy to have found this unusual tree :)

      Delete
  18. I love this tree so much.
    The shape itself is so comforting, what's more with the needles and cones.
    I've always thought this tree is evergreen but look at that brilliant rustic color!
    Solzhenitsyn's is new to me too. Nice work indeed.
    Very clever Rosemary..(as always) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ash, both the tree and the poet were new to me as well :) That's the fun part about blogging, both writing one and reading other people's!

      Delete
  19. Piękny wiersz i cudowne zdjęcia. Modrzew jest dla mnie smutny, jak straci wszystkie swoje igiełki. Pozdrawiam.
    Beautiful poem and lovely pictures. Larch is sad for me, and lose all their needles. Yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Giga, but we can be happy that the tree will return with the Spring :)

      Delete
  20. Beautiful pictures with a beautiful poem...
    Love it very much, Rosemary!
    Warm greeting, Anna :))

    ReplyDelete
  21. Beautiful autums images!! I've never seen such a pine, so tall and thin! it also looks very old!!
    ciao ciao
    Dany

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is quite beautiful as well :)

      Delete
  22. What a beautiful poem! The pine is so pretty with its silky needles. I enjoyed your lovely post, Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Beth, I was happy to find a poem that went so well with my photos :)

      Delete
  23. Dear Rosemary!
    Feel free to pick Award.
    I send greetings.
    Lucia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the award Lucia, you are very sweet :)

      Delete

Thank you so much for your kind words :)

Pages

Blog Archive