geh aus mein herz

geh aus mein herz

die braunen bauklotzhäuser
mit farbenkastentüren
die weißen blütenkelche
die sich versonnen rühren

im wind aus samt und seide
die schweren purpurrosen
in Salomonis kleide
die deine finger kosen…

der sommer will dich füllen
die erde lädt dich ein
zu laufen und zu schaffen
zu schauen und zu
sein

Christina Egan © 2011


Salomonis Seide

In Purpur zog der Kaiser einst,
in Scharlachrot der Kardinal,
in Violett die Kaiserin
in einen grüngeschmückten Saal.

So prunken die Geranien
in ihrer Sommerprozession
und rufen in das Gartenrund:
“Wir übertrumpfen Salomon!”

Christina Egan © 2014


The appeal ‘Go out and seek joy’ and the metaphor of King Solomon’s silk are taken from the jubilant hymn and folksong Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud, written by Paul Gerhardt in the middle of the 17th century.

The houses in uniform dull colours with front doors in different bright colours are typical for London. So are the little private gardens with geraniums.

The first poem is contemplative and intense, the second one humorous and light. The last line of the first poem is cut up on purpose: to let the word ‘to be’ resound on its own.


For an English poem about the pageant of summer see Lilac and Lime.

 

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Snow-White Patches

Snow-White Patches
(July Tanka)

Daisies, buttercups,
scattered across the lush green
like two galaxies:
humble, ephemeral and
full of the glory of God.

*

Those snow-white patches,
patterns on the lawn, the mulch:
hortensia flowers,
as if cut out from the world
of colours and of motion.

Christina Egan © 2012


Waterlilies with half-open luminous pink and white flowers.

These poems describe the world as an ensemble of patterns. They also try to make sense of the world, and perhaps the act of discovering order also unveils meaning…

Something tiny resembles something gigantic, the whole of the known world, in fact. Something white appears as a hole or an island in the colourful picture: like a shadow of death or a gate to eternity.

 

Cactus seen from above, with two star-like flowers bigger than the body of the cactusThe line ‘full of the glory of God’ was inspired by the verse ‘The world is charged with the grandeur of God‘ by Gerald Manley Hopkins.

You can truly ‘see a world in a grain of sand / and a heaven in a wild flower’, as William Blake claimed!

Photographs: Water-lilies. Liu Ye (Ye Liu) © 2016. — Queen of the night. Christina Egan © 2014.

Moon Rainbow

Moon Rainbow

Enveloped in the velvet cloak of night,
I feel I have been chosen before birth
As secret queen of this enchanted earth,
Enrobed in moon and star and rainbow light.
Enveloped in this sparkling cloak of night,
Embroidered by an angel, tireless,
And lined with solid human tenderness,
I know I live and die to see the light.
I’m wrapped into this lining of the night:
Your silver beauty scooped out of the moon
And made to breathe and smile and give me room.
I hold your smooth and tapered fingers tight,
I hold your dreams to give them earth to bloom:
Around us moves the sky’s luminous loom.

Christina Egan © 2010

Rear Mirror

Rear Mirror

Telegraph wires:
a flock of birds turns them into
three lines of verse.

*

No flowerbeds here –
but a line of bright washing
dancing in the wind!

*

A palm-tree appears
in the rear mirror, and huts
in the still lagoon.

Christina Egan © 2018

Washing-line with red, orange, yellow, green clothes, forming a triangle with the matching flower-beds behind.

These haiku about haiku were written looking at three picture postcards, where I instantly perceived patterns and metaphors.

Poetry – and painting or photography – are like rear mirrors which make hidden things visible and ordinary places special.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2016.

Standing in the Slush

Standing in the Slush
(February Haiku )

*

Standing in the slush,
by the bus stop, I’m looking
for lost memories.

*

Wet empty benches,
wet winding sand paths, furrowed
by hurried footsteps.

*

I’m rubbing my eyes,
weighed down by dreams, and there –
first leaves like lances!

*

Christina Egan © 2013


Like February Sparks, these haiku were written at the hardest time of the year, when our strength is about to be exhausted entirely. This is when we have to be strongest, when we have to fight hardest, as the previous post, Venus and Mars, describes. At least, in southern England, flowers appear very early, in winter, really, to cheer you up…!

Haltbare Rose

Haltbare Rose

Wenn ich mit einer Rose um dich würbe,
gewölbt, gefüllt, gedrängt und überfließend,
mit ihrer Gegenwart den Raum versüßend,
so wüßte ich, daß sie im Nu dir stürbe.
Und wenn ihr eine Faserblume gliche,
burgunderrot und makellos gewoben,
so wäre sie zwei Jahre todenthoben
und höchstens drei, bevor sie ganz verbliche.
Und wenn ich eine Bronzeblume fände,
so wäre doch ein Feuersturm ihr Ende,
in dem ihr unverrückter Glanz verglühe.
Ich schicke dir statt aller dieser Rosen
nur dies Gedicht, das deine Lippen kosen,
auf daß es bis zum Jüngsten Tage blühe.

Christina Egan © 2016

Advert reading "Long lasting flowers: Infinity Roses: 2-3 Jahre haltbar".This sonnet was inspired by an advertisement in a shop window: ‘Infinity Roses’, guaranteed to last two to three years. I found this hilarious: most love stories, which one naturally believes to be forever, last at most that long. Then they get cast away just like an artificial rose.

My idea was that a real flower lasts only a few days; an imitation of fabric or plastic (the German word leaves the material open) lasts only a few years; and even a sculpture of bronze might perish in a fire one day. A poem, however, may outlive them all! (The question whether the love will outlive them all remains.) Instead of kissing the poet, the beloved one turns the lines of the poem over on his or her lips. Well, that’s something at least…


Noch immer blühend

Ich lieb’ dich insgeheim schon seit drei Jahren,
was eine ungeheure Leistung ist –
von dir, der du noch immer blühend bist!
Ich bin berückt, und niemand darf’s erfahren.
Man will ja auch nichts Falsches offenbaren:
Ich liebe dich schon seit drei Jahren halb,
das macht dann immerhinque anderthalb.
Man muß zuweilen mit der Neigung sparen.
Wir sind sogar persönlich schon bekannt.
Zählst du wohl auch…? Drei Stunden insgesamt!
Drei Meter nur, dann einen Meter fort –––
Ich schicke, Liebster, dir zum Unterpfand
Nur eine rote Rose durch das Land:
Schau auf, steh auf und küß mich ohne Wort.

Christina Egan © 2017


This sonnet takes up the thought of Haltbare Rose in a satirical fashion: The woman has been in love with the man for three years already – but only half, which she counts as one-and-a half years!

Photograph: Shop window in Berlin. Christina Egan © 2016.