following a star

Not quite as glorious as the marigolds, but another picture to brighten the page:

thistle star seedhead silhouettes

I think I’ve mentioned before that I learn things from posting on this blog. I’ve been looking at these dead plant heads for weeks (and in previous years, too) and although I’ve vaguely wondered what they are, I’ve never bothered to investigate. All I thought when I took the picture was that they were like stars against the evening sky.

Now, because I wanted to post the picture, I’ve spent more than a superficial moment thinking about it and realised they are probably thistle heads without the thistledown.

A quick google search has led me to discover that they might be artichoke thistles or cardoon, from the cynara genus.

And that, of course, has triggered another mental link and led me to re-read Ernest Dowson’s poem:

Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae

Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed
Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine;
And I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

All night upon mine heart I felt her warm heart beat,
Night-long within mine arms in love and sleep she lay;
Surely the kisses of her bought red mouth were sweet;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
When I awoke and found the dawn was gray:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, all the time, because the dance was long:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

I cried for madder music and for stronger wine,
But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire,
Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine;
And I am desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, hungry for the lips of my desire:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

 
I had only intended to post a quick picture, but I’ve ended up reading poetry, which can’t be bad. Or wouldn’t be bad if there weren’t so much work waiting to be dealt with, which is why there was only going to be a picture. Ah well.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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