Sunday, January 23, 2011

The scent of lilac when


The scent of lilac when the bush is bare
and frost is on the ground —
that’s how old
I am.


Update:
“The scent of lilac when” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

15 comments:

Art by JFM said...

Willaim this is so beautiful. You have said so much in just a few words. Such and old fashioned flower with a scent from the past.

A secret drawer lined with lilac scented paper...filled with love letters tied in pale purple ribbon from a time long ago when she had found young love...

Aleksandra said...

I told to my best friend if I come to sudden death and if its not possible to burn my shell than to burie me under the lilac tree,my favorite blue one! Beautiful William!:)

Woman in a Window said...

I love to find you
unexpectedly
between your lines
so sweet.

xo
erin

Andreas said...

...and yet so childlike. Past moments still with us, still a playground in full swing. Have you ever hid among lilac bushes, William, lost to the world - lost in fragrance - not wanting to be found?

There's something about your poems that make me think of childhood. They're precious gifts.

Crissant said...

Brilliant, dear William.
Great to come back in your inspiring place.
All the best!
Hugs.

Old 333 said...

The time before the lilacs get to business is never old; only in between things! I hope you have a lot more Springs to grow poems for us. This world seems to have a neverending thirst for beauty; you an' me and the lilacs got a duty.

Gerry Boyd said...

The other graybeard is older.

William Michaelian said...

Such is the complexity of fragrance, that it not only resembles memory, but calls it forth even as it changes. Yesterday evening my son was here, and in speaking of two books he bought recently that were printed in 1820, he said their scent was so rich and so complicated that there was no way to know the many things from which it was derived, and that it was, in fact, so good that it was almost bad, and that at the same time it was impossible to inhale enough of it. Think of it: a scent, when taken in, goes immediately to the lungs and into our blood; simultaneously it enters the mind; or the mind enters it. And I am convinced by your comments that a poem has a similar journey.

Thank you, Jan. The word lilac, to me, is as powerful as its scent, in that it changes all of the other words around it.

Aleksandra, thank you. Once again your response is a revealing poem.

Erin, shy as I am in some respects, I love being found.

Andreas, that you can see them in this light is music to my ears. Thank you. I’ve stood among lilacs, yes, but the feeling was less of being lost than found, as if I had happened suddenly upon the stranger that was myself and marveled at him there.

And my best to you, Crissant! It’s inspiring, too, to hear your written voice, and to sense the bright spirit behind its sound. I hope your work is going well.

Now that, Peter, is the truth. All we have to do is live up to it.

Gerry! We shall leave him by the dooryard, then, the old rascal.

Joseph Hutchison said...

I think you stole this from me, WIlliam. But mine begins with two different lines:

The scent of last Spring's compost
under the midwinter snow—

Oh, wait. I haven't written that one yet....

William Michaelian said...

Two harmless thieves
who can’t quite remember
who stole what
from whom
when

Anthony Duce said...

I think smell some things the same way as you.

William Michaelian said...

Yes, I’m quite sure of it. Thanks, Anthony.

-K- said...

I really hope this finds a very wide audience.

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

this is nice william, love the quiete in this, and the atmosphere...

William Michaelian said...

I appreciate that, Kevin. Now let us synchronize our sun dials.

Laura, thank you. This time of year we are winter souls.