Saturday, February 4, 2012

Forever Young (after "Ode to a Grecian Urn")

Forever Young
after John Keats

Ah, unhappy boughs! that must forever shed
Your leaves, that can never bid the Spring hello
for long;
Ah, unhappy melodist, wearièd, off key,
Forever piping songs that grow old;
More, more unhappy love! Forever warm
and then, forever chilled to the bone,
Forever panting Bob Dylan's"Forever Young."

We keep getting spring and then winter, spring and then winter. The photos above are from yesterday. Some of the spring flowers are pushing up, and some of the new leaves showing. I don't remember seeing skunk cabbages until late March last year. Or snow drops and crocuses. Today it is snowing, and tomorrow, who knows. It might be summer.

Of course I was just parodying this stanza from "Ode to a Grecian Urn" by Keats. For some reason, those words, "More happy love! More happy, happy love!" have a way or replaying in my mind at times, twisting into a variety of mocking lines. And I always think of Dylan as the deity of no tone . . .

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearièd,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.


TC said...

Nin, I love these new angles and energies and complications, changing bit by bit now in the beauteous photo sequences, as the season is replenished within itself, and shows its chilled and shining splendours, a bit different in feeling each time, with winter hanging in yet spring "pushing its way up", so like life, not to be denied.

So very lovely to see and feel one's way into these scenes.

Grateful for the light and the virtual sensations of walking, looking...

More happy, happy natural renewals!

TC said...

Oh and let not that handsome pair of Dabbling Ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) -- third photo -- go unmarked.

More happy, happy icy waters of Poland!

TC said...

Still seeing these pictures in the blind/mind's eye, after however many hours... What's curious, in a nagging sort of way, is the Grecian Urn / duck association. Dear Professor -- Can it possibly "mean something"?

As a fellow cartoonist, you might get what I mean, Nin, if you take a look at "my" Grecian Urn. Upon which there is drawn, yes, a dabbling duck.

(Once upon a time it was possible to click on the image and see the duck up close and personal, but I fear that convenience was withdrawn somewhere in the trail of brave new, improved Google "interface updates" -- whatever those are.)

Nin Andrews said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nin Andrews said...

I love the link to the ducks, but I can't get a close-up of "my" Grecian urn. Is there a ref to this in your great book, Junkets on a Sad Planet?

TC said...


It's a mystery to me as to why or wherefore, but it seems Google Images was jealous about my original one-of-a-kind artwork on the Urn, and at some point did a Lorena Bobbit job on it...

They are such ingrates really, their bots send 75000 humanoids a month to gape at my pix... and then the MommyBot has the nerve to snip 'em!

Anyhow it seems all that's left for viewing is the foreshortened version. But, notwithstanding the abovementioned violation by reduction, if you look on the upper right, you should still be able to make out that urn, decorated by that duck.