Sunday, July 29, 2018

Nothing Gold Can Stay

new shirt (2)
I have  a new shirt—it’s gray and white blocks with gold flowers embellished with gold sparkles on the white. That’s my reflection in a mirror on the closet door.  There is old style writing on it, and my friend Nancy Long asked what it said.  I didn’t know because the writing was rather loose and slanted and I had assumed it was in a foreign language and hadn’t really examined it.  But I could make out one line “Her hardest hue to hold,” so I looked it up on the internet.

Robert Frost. “Nothing gold can stay.” Whether he’s saying the first green you see in spring is the most desirable, or that the flowers that bloom as the leaves unfold have a gold hue, I don’t know. But they only last briefly, as the dawn becomes day, and nothing precious lasts forever. “So Eden sank to grief.”

I attended a program with Robert Frost reading his own poetry when I was in college, probably 1959 or 1960.  His simple poems were elegant and yet complex.  My date was Chinese.  He seemed a little puzzled.

Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963
Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay. 

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