April Airs and Bliss

Chic tents, Côté Sud Avr-Mai 2009, edited by lb for -
Côté Sud, Avril-Mai 2009


I HEARD the spring wind whisper
Above the brushwood fire,
"The world is made forever
Of transport and desire.

"I am the breath of being,
The primal urge of things;
I am the whirl of star dust,
I am the lift of wings.

"I am the splendid impulse
That comes before the thought,
The joy and exaltation
Wherein the life is caught.

"Across the sleeping furrows
I call the buried seed,
And blade and bud and blossom
Awaken at my need.

"Within the dying ashes
I blow the sacred spark,
And make the hearts of lovers
To leap against the dark."

I heard the spring light whisper
Above the dancing stream,
"The world is made forever
In likeness of a dream.

"I am the law of planets,
I am the guide of man;
The evening and the morning
Are fashioned to my plan.

"I tint the dawn with crimson,
I tinge the sea with blue;
My track is in the desert,
My trail is in the dew.

"I paint the hills with color,
And in my magic dome
I light the star of evening
To steer the traveller home.

"Within the house of being,
I feed the lamp of truth
With tales of ancient wisdom
And prophecies of youth."

I heard the spring rain murmur
Above the roadside flower,
"The world is made forever
In melody and power.

"I keep the rhythmic measure
That marks the steps of time,
And all my toil is fashioned
To symmetry and rhyme.

"I plow the untilled upland,
I ripe the seeding grass,
And fill the leafy forest
With music as I pass.

"I hew the raw, rough granite
To loveliness of line,
And when my work is finished,
Behold, it is divine!

"I am the master-builder
In whom the ages trust.
I lift the lost perfection
To blossom from the dust."

Then Earth to them made answer,
As with a slow refrain
Born of the blended voices
Of wind and sun and rain,

"This is the law of being
That links the threefold chain:
The life we give to beauty
Returns to us again."

—Bliss Carman 
Bliss Carman was a Canadian poet. He was born William Bliss Carman in Fredericton, in the Maritime province of New Brunswick. He published under the name "Bliss Carman," although the "Bliss" is his mother's surname.
As with many Canadian poets, nature figures prominently as a theme in his work. In his time, he was arguably Canada's best known poet, and was dubbed by some the "unofficial poet laureate of Canada." -bio excerpt, Wikipedia
"Trees Caught Dancing" photographed in 2008 by LeAnn for -
"Trees Caught Dancing" photograph by LeAnn, Malibu CA 2008

Bliss Carman is now one of my favorite poets, but I hadn't even heard of him until about a year ago when I ran across the above poem "Earth Voices."  Upon further research, I found it is from one of his books published in 1916.  It turned out that these verses I had felt such a connection to were from "April Airs."  This had significance to me because not only is the subject matter close to my heart,  April is my birth month.  —Fast forward to a few days ago, having just celebrated my birthday on April 12th:

I had been contemplating sharing some of the poetry from April Airs this month here on linen & lavender. I don't own a copy of it yet, but I did find an on-line version and so began reading other works from this book.  Another poem called "Garden Magic" (see bottom of post) resonated with me so much I almost felt it could have been written for me personally.  (Typical Aries mentality, I admit!)  

In delving further for information about Mr. Carman, I was surprised and delighted to learn that he was born just three days from me on April 15th.  I decided then that I would wait until his birthday to publish this post.  However, there would be one more little sign that providence was at play...

In finishing this post, I noticed Bliss passed away on June 8th.  In light of all the other connections I seemed to have to him and his work, it crossed my mind that maybe June 8th might be significant to me in some way.

I thought:   I started writing linen & lavender in June, but what are the odds?  Could the inaugural post have happened on the 8th? 

I immediately dismissed it as being too much of a long shot.   ...But just for fun and curiosity's sake, I had to check, of course. . .   I'm sure you can guess. . .  –That's right. —June 8th! 

It would seem I have some sort of cosmic connection to this talented gentleman.  —Maybe just a fellow Aries sending me signs to ensure him publicity?(!) — Whatever the reason, I'm happy to have found him and his inspiring work.

 Thanks, Bliss!  

.April Airs by Bliss Carman - in the emporium by -

Bliss Carman, Canadian Poet (April 15, 1861 – June 8, 1929) Bliss Carman was the great-grandson of United Empire Loyalists who fled to Nova Scotia after the American Revolution, settling in New Brunswick (then part of Nova Scotia). His literary roots run deep with an ancestry that includes a mother who was a descendant of Daniel Bliss of Concord, Massachusetts, the great-grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Also on his mother's side, he was a first cousin to another famous Canadian poet, Sir Charles G. D. Roberts.  -bio excerpt, Wikipedia

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WITHIN my stone-walled garden
(I see her standing now,
Uplifted in the twilight,
With glory on her brow!)

I love to walk at evening
And watch, when winds are low,
The new moon in the tree-tops,
Because she loved it so!

And there entranced I listen,
While flowers and winds confer,
And all their conversation
Is redolent of her.

I love the trees that guard it,
Upstanding and serene,
So noble, so undaunted,
Because that was her mien.

I love the brook that bounds it,
Because its silver voice
Is like her bubbling laughter
That made the world rejoice.

I love the golden jonquils,
Because she used to say,
If Soul could choose a color
It would be clothed as they.

I love the blue-gray iris,
Because her eyes were blue,
Sea-deep and heaven-tender
In meaning and in hue.

I love the small wild roses,
Because she used to stand
Adoringly above them
And bless them with her hand.

These were her boon companions.
But more than all the rest
My birthday and one of my favorite flowers, beautiful lilacs, image by LeAnn as seen on linen & lavender
I love the April lilac,
Because she loved it best.

Soul of undying rapture!
How loves enchantment clings,
With sorcery and fragrance,
About familiar things!

                                                                       -Bliss Carman

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Susan said...

Absolutely beautiful. A very Happy belated Aries Birthday to you!

LB said...

Thanks Susan! I had a great day with my daughter. Hope you are well. ~LeAnn

dam said...

thanks so much for reminding me of Bliss Carmen. I, too, am an Aires from New Brunswick who read and loved his poetry many years in school. Beautiful, as if your blog!

LB said...

dam - Thanks for sharing that. Nice to hear from a fellow Aries and Bliss fan. :)
All the best ~LeAnn

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