May 21st, 2011

Reading Desk

Sonnet 98

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leapt with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
   Yet seemed it winter still, and you away,
   As with your shadow I with these did play.

William Shakespeare

of clouds and rain

There are few sights in nature more dramatic than when the sunlight, slanting  from the horizon, strikes a tree but not at all the lowering thunderclouds in charcoal blue behind it, so the full sunlight sculpts the tree into radiance.  Helps when the wind is frothing up the leaves, partly because that turns up the leaves' silvery underbellies.  Or when they are still new, sprightly green, not quite the spring green but still less sober than summer green, because it sharpens the chiaroscuro.  Also helps when it thunders. . . .

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