Batter My Heart

I want to tell you about the ants that have underground fungal farms, mulched with chewed up leaves, and the radio waves from the 40's that are still bouncing around the solar system. John Donne's 'Batter my heart, three-personed God' and Sufjan Steven's 'Tranfiguration' keep swirling around in my head. The magnolias are starting to bloom, and yesterday our first primrose raised its cyclops eye to the heavens. The race is on to find the bloom of the fetid adder's tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii), they are hard to catch. I started running (not away, but as a hobby.) I pruned an august and noble pear tree, and dug out suckers from beneath 2 apple trees in John Steinbeck's hometown. These are all the little things in my head now, these and a hundred others that I don't quite know how to write down. New babies, beds, books, haircuts, jobs, friends, loves and losses, and dinner parties.
I want to lay them all carefully out here, on display for you like some sort of grade school science fair or a roadside rock & gem show. Perhaps not as crowd-pleasing as the baking soda volcano (is that how it erupts? Someone fill me in, please...). But here I am, holding these things up to the light, watching the colored facets, & enjoying the weight in my hand.

Sonnet XIV
Batter my heart, three-person'd God; for, you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn and make me new.
I, like a usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd to your enemy:
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you enthral me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


Camille said...

I, like a usurp'd town, to another due

I think i need to bring a volume of Donne to the bathroom, methinks.

Rosa said...

Some of my finest literaty moments have occured in the loo.

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.