Friday, April 17, 2009

Cherry Blossom Poetry

fifty springs

It's that time of year, when the cherry trees burst into bloom. My drive to school is one lovely vision after another. I've been thinking of this poem by A. E. Housman:

Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

The top photo there, with the last stanza of Housman's poem, I submitted to the Free Verse Project at

Of course, I have also been reading haiku. Traditional Japanese haiku always contain a season word and cherry blossoms are a symbol of spring. I have been reading my well-worn copy of Harold G. Henderson's An Introduction to Haiku. Here are some of my favorites:

To cherry blooms I come,
and under the blossoms go to sleep -
no duties to be done!

They blossom, and then
we gaze, and then the blooms
scatter, and then...

On the plum tree
one blossom, one blossom-worth
of warmth.

As bell tones fade,
blossom scents take up the ringing -
evening shade!

blossom branch

Today's Friday Poetry round up is being hosted at Becky's Book Reviews. Enjoy!


jama said...

Thanks for the beautiful, fragrant post, Andi!! Love your poem in the tree :)!

Sara said...

Oh my word. Gorgeous. Everything. Gorgeous.

Fiddler said...

Your photos are stunning. Thanks for sharing them, and for posting both the haiku and "Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry." I need to go gather some rosebuds while I may, now, or at least stop and sniff some.

Jet said...

A perfect selection for today!


John Mutford said...

We both picked a Housman poem for Poetry Friday? Cool. Interesting that they were both about aging somewhat, but the tone is entirely different,

Lone Star Ma said...


susan said...

Your choice, the cherry blossom reminds me of a community I was very involved in. It was a special place. Thanks for sharing these.

Mary Lee said...

That Houseman poem is my #1 All Time Favorite Spring Poem. I stunned my class yesterday by reciting it from memory. Every spring I remind myself that I can't be guaranteed "three score years and ten" and that I must treasure EVERY blooming growing living thriving moment (and not just of spring...)

Lisa Chellman said...

I love the photos -- beautiful and literal poe-tree!

Daphne said...

We are enjoying cherry blossoms right now in San Francisco. Thank you for the inspiring poems.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I am so glad you are all enjoying the cherry blossoms here. I feel for anyone who doesn't have them in real life. When I see the snow storms, floods, and fires on the news I can't believe my own good fortune to have such great weather and everything bursting into bloom right now. I'm cherishing it and happy to share it.