It’s National Grammar Day. Proverbs.

tulip, bulbs, flowers, market, jason landry, photograph, proverbs

Jason Landry, Tulip Bulbs, Amsterdam, 2004

It’s National Grammar Day.  Today’s lesson: Proverbs.

‘Good Husbandry’ is listening to your wife when she tells you,
“Jason, I’m going to relax today.  Go for a run or something.”
“Yes dear.”

So during yesterday’s run, Mark was telling me that the tulip bulbs have started to break through the surface mulch in the small garden in front of his brownstone.
“That doesn’t surprise me.  I’ve noticed in the past few years that the proverb, ‘April Showers Bring May Flowers‘ isn’t really the case anymore.  The weird thing is, flowers have been blooming earlier in Boston and April hasn’t been our rainy month…it’s been May.”

“Environmentalists would have you thinking it has something to do with global warming”, says Mark. “The first thing you should check is when and where that statement was first introduced.  When I lived in Virginia, flowers would bloom sooner than in Boston due to it’s geographical distance from the equator.”
“Makes sense.  I’ll do some digging.”

In the mid-16th century, English poet and farmer Thomas Tusser wrote a book called A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry.  First published in 1557, the book included rhyming lyrical poems broken down by the months of the year.  In the April abstract, the famous lines were uttered:

Sweet April showers
do Spring May flowers.

The United Kingdom and the New England states do have similar climates and proximity to the equator.  So this proverb makes sense, however, I’m convinced that climate change has in fact disrupted the seasons.  I think I need to book a lunch with Al Gore.  He’d be able to expound on this topic.

Two Tramps In Mudtime

One of my graduate school mentors used to recite a passage from Robert Frost’s Two Tramps in Mudtime.  I heard him say it so many times in conversations to his students and quoting it during his lectures that I began to memorize it.  Robert Frost passed away in Boston, MA 50 years ago to the day. Here is the last stanza of that poem.  It sums up much of what I’m about.

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.

The Gaze of poet Charles Baudelaire

What do you see when you look into these eyes?charles baudelaire, poet, paris

It’s a portrait of Charles Baudelaire by Étienne Carjat.

Baudelaire wasn’t the biggest fan of photography. After its invention in the mid-1800’s, the recognized poet denounced the medium as a true art form.  As documented in the book Baudelaire, Man of His Time, he was quoted as saying, that for photography:
“its real purpose…is that of being the servant to the sciences and arts.” He’s also the same individual who said,
“What is art? Prostitution.”

I stare at this photograph every day.  It hangs in the entryway to my bedroom.