Wednesday, April 28, 2010

unbearable beauty




Thou art not lovelier than lilacs,—no,
Nor honeysuckle; thou art not more fair
Than small white single poppies,—I can bear
Thy beauty; though I bend before thee, though
From left to right, not knowing where to go,
I turn my troubled eyes, nor here nor there
Find any refuge from thee, yet I swear
So has it been with mist,—with moonlight so.

Like him who day by day unto his draught
Of delicate poison adds him one drop more
Till he may drink unharmed the death of ten,
Even so, inured to beauty, who have quaffed
Each hour more deeply than the hour before,
I drink—and live—what has destroyed some men.


Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnet I from Renascence and Other Poems, 1917







Can anything be as unbearably beautiful as fresh cut lilacs from the manor, paired with my dearest Edna St. Vee? Well, maybe, but I can't think of anything today. Drink up, my friends. ~xx

75 comments:

  1. I can smell them from here ...

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  2. Oh the heady, sweet smell. Nothing says Springtime like a vase of freshly-cut lilac stems, their aroma wafting throughout the house.
    The colonists were wise in bringing such a loveliness.

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  3. They are so fragrant, I believe I can sniff them even from here! Wow. Delicious!! Happy spring.

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  4. Lilacs are a wee snippet of heaven, I think. Heady; they perfume like nothing else on earth. I'm drinking greedily ...

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  5. I read about everyone swooning over lilacs but they don't grow here. Don't believe I have ever seen them.

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  6. Your photo and this passage:

    ..I can bear
    Thy beauty; though I bend before thee...


    Thank you for this delicious combination!

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  7. Wonderful closeup of the lilacs, Willow!

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  8. ...your lilacs are quite a bit ahead of ours...and yes just bearable...just...

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  9. I am looking out back along the fence at a 6 foot tall and that big around, "Korean Lilac" bush in bloom. It is a deeper purple color and small - even tiny flowers but it smells good.

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  10. What elegant looking lilacs! Thanks for sharing them with us today! I do think I can smell them too!

    Nancy

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  11. I love Edna... her poetry is groovy. LOL.. seriously, I love Edna.

    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

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  12. I love the picture on your blog The Manor In Spring. Lilacs are absolutely beautiful. Lovely post. Truly lovely.

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  13. Aw you have lilacs already? They are divine.

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  14. Such a delightful post! They look absolutely gorgeous Willow ... it's so nice to bring the scents & the colours of springtime inside, just lovely!

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  15. You are right ...nothing can compare!

    From the lover of all lilac things,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  16. i can just imagine their smell...ahh...

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  17. She is also MY dearest Edna St. Vee!

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  18. That sonnet was breathtaking, coupled with those magnificent lilacs, it is truly beauty of the purest order.

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  19. Oh, how lucky you are to have that intoxicating scent wafting through your house.

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  20. I love that first picture. The focus is amazing, and I love the gold of the vase in the background. Beautiful!

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  21. I think I am drunk from having "drunk." Absolutely perfect. Thank you.

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  22. AMAZING!!!

    I love lilacs...and they are in abundance RIGHT NOW...short lived but worth the wait each and every year!

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  23. Pamela, the scent is intoxicating, indeed. Every year it surprises me!

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  24. Beautiful! Mine are growing right against the house...I've just been opening the window and letting in the fragrance!

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  25. I can see why those lovely blossoms in that shade of purple, with their fragrance were such a poetic inspiration. I need to go out and find some since they are not growing in my neighborhood!

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  26. This flower is a symbol of the emotions of early love

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  27. My very favorite flower (and I actually posted about it the other day, too!) -- and thanks for the gorgeous poem. I do love her.

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  28. Unbearable beauty, and irresistible fragrance!

    Rochester's Lilac Festival is coming up in May. Just hope the weather will cooperate.

    Rick

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  29. I brushed past a bush yesterday (the dark purple one) and the scent was intoxicating. I took a cutting...

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  30. Beautiful picture! I am eagerly awaiting my lilac buds to burst into bloom.

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  31. Drink them in daaaling! How beautiful a post; lilac and poetry... its a must! :) The Bach

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  32. Gorgeous main pic, Willow, with words to match!

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  33. Lilacs are as beautiful in their fragrance as in their bountiful profusion of blooms. Wonderful poem and photo.

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  34. oh, heaven

    our tree just outside the window is on the verge of bursting with heaven.
    Usually timed with Mother's Day.

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  35. I love lilacs, too. We've been enjoying them all over the house for quite a while now, and I'm going to miss them when they stop their gorgeous blooms. Very pretty! And yes--perfect poem to accompany these.

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  36. Reminds me of the days back when, in one of our local parks, the Victorians planted a hillside with many lilacs and a cross, would hold church services next to the duck pond...how very Victorian...some of the bushes are still there, as is the duck pond.

    Sweet, fragrant memories of the past...my lilac soap is a best seller, it's an ol'timey scent of memories!

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  37. Love Millay since high school poetry studies.

    But all flowers capture my heart. Like life they shine in the sun briefly and fade away, sometimes in a day.

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  38. I'm in love with beauty..
    It is wonderful to be driven mad by beauty, but not every day! Flowers are the easy part!!

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  39. Beautiful, sensual & poetic, I love your blog!

    Thank you for nice comment on my blog!

    Agneta, the swedish one ;)

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  40. Do you have trouble with the branches wilting when you cut lilacs? Mine always droop and die when I put them in vases. It's as if they don't want to be cut off from the mother bush and brought indoors. Sigh.

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  41. Can anything be as unbearably beautiful? What about that steaming, newspaper-wrapped, parcel of chips (fies to you) that we were discussing earlier?

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  42. Enchanted Oak, the trick is to pound several inches of the end of the woody part with a hammer to shred. That way, they absorb the water better. It works for any woody stem.

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  43. Alan, I just might chose a steaming newsprint full of crispy fries today. Especially if they're accompanied by a large puddle of ketchup!

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  44. yes, what unbearable beauty - lilacs - and they hold a special meaning for me as i was named after the WWII song "jeannine i dream of lilac time" - perhaps you know it? in any event, a beautiful tribute to those with such unbearable beauty!

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  45. YES! Can't beat lilacs- love them- and thanks for the tip - google chrome- licketty split!

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  46. Gypsy, how completely fun to be named after a song...especially a lilac song! I love it.

    Linda Sue, isn't Chrome great? The only thing I don't like, is that it changed the front for me. Can't figure out why, but it's worth the speed!

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  47. Magnificent poem.

    PS: I have a Spring themed poetry contest going on over @ my blog in case you might be interested...

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  48. What a gorgeous photo and poem. Interesting how she spelt renaissance.

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  49. Glug, glug, glug.


    (I drink deep or not at all.)

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  50. Oh, they are lovely! I have some too, and am in love with their scent.

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  51. Great photo. Your camera takes great photos, and of course you've got an excellent eye.

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  52. Oh I so agreee. Sniiiiiiiifffing iiiinnn. the smell to is so intoxicating. Beautiful photo there of yours as well there, willow.

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  53. Found you via Otin...What a lovely blog! :)

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  54. willow - the tenderest most sincere beauty. wow!! steven

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  55. SUCH A LUSH AND CHEERY TIME WE'RE HAVING THIS GLORIOUS LILAC SEASON!! IT'S WAY OVER THE USUAL TOP>>>>

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  56. Lilacs are so fragrant that they scent the whole room. We have them growing in the back yard and can smell them when we leave the patio door open. I love the vase you have here.

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  57. Alas, lilacs don't grow here very well. They are beautiful.

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  58. Beautiful lilacs and gorgeous photography!

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  59. The father of standard time Sir Sanford Fleming planted hundreds of lilacs near here in the late 1800s. They aren't quite in bloom yet on the shores of the Bay. When they do I will recite well nigh into the night dear sweet Edna St. Vee. Reminds me of "How Do I Love Thee" by Emily Barrett-Browning. Do I smell romance in the air?Thanks for the aromatherapy Willow!

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  60. Lilacs...just about the best
    and I adored the poetry with it...
    it reads with such ease and grace
    joys of life

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  61. Lilacs and Lily of the Valley on my grave, please. Their scent and beauty is so short-lived - making them all the more precious. Their appearance every year heralds May, and spring, and rebirth - - - and, thank goodness, for new beginnings.

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  62. lilacs are intoxicating and so early summer with a touch of spring--you beat me to it--but no worries one can never have too many lilacs---beautiful post!

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  63. For Enchanted Oak. I always strip the leaves from the 'flower' stems, and add 'leaf only' stems to compliment. This way they last well and always look perky.

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  64. Such beauty, in words and pictures, thank you!

    I was about 50 miles south over the last two days. Yesterday morning I was awake before anybody else and took a long leisurely stroll through the village I was staying. Every garden seemed to have at least one lilac bush, and all were in bloom, I feasted my eyes and bathed in lilac fragrance. Spring at its finest.

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  65. http://itistimetothinkformyself.blogspot.com/2010/04/from-friends-to-friends-awards.html

    Happy Thursday!
    Friendship award for you.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)