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The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way
Posted by: Zonetme32 (---.hacc.edu)
Date: May 19, 2003 03:00PM

This poem is written by Thich Nhat Hanh. I just need help understanding pretty much every aspect of this poem, stanza by stanza. It is just to much for me to really understand and grasp. If someone could help me out that would be awesome.

Thanks.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem "The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way"
Posted by: Les (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: May 19, 2003 03:17PM

Could you post the poem?

Les


Re: I need some serious help on the poem "The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way"
Posted by: Zonetme32 (---.hacc.edu)
Date: May 19, 2003 03:29PM

Sorry, here it is.


“The Beauty of Spring Blocks My Way”

Spring comes slowly and quietly
to allow Winter to withdraw
slowly and quietly.
The color of the mountain afternoon
is tinged with nostalgia.
The terrible war flower
has left her footprints-
countless petals of separation and death
in white and violet.
Very tenderly, the wound opens itself in the depths of my heart.
Its color is the color of blood,
its nature the nature of separation.
The beauty of Spring blocks my way.
How could I find another path up the mountain?

I suffer so. My soul is frozen.
My heart vibrates like the fragile string of a lute
left out in a stormy night.
Yes, it is really there. Spring has really come.
But the mourning is heard
clearly, unmistakably,
in the wonderful sounds of the birds.
The morning mist is already born.
The breeze of Spring in its song
expresses both my love and my despair.
The cosmos is so indifferent. Why?
To the harbor, I came alone,
and now I leave alone.

There are so many paths leading to the homeland.
They all talk to me in silence. I invoke the Absolute.
Spring has come
to every corner of the ten directions.
Its, alas, is only the song
of departure.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem "The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way"
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.MCLNVA23.covad.net)
Date: May 19, 2003 03:52PM


The color of the mountain afternoon
is tinged with nostalgia.


That would be synesthesia, right? Interesting article in this month's Scientific American on synesthesia, by the way.

The terrible war flower
has left her footprints-

Going off the deep end here now.

Its color is the color of blood,

That would be red, my guess.

My heart vibrates like the fragile string of a lute
left out in a stormy night.

Gak!


Re: I need some serious help on the poem "The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way"
Posted by: Les (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: May 19, 2003 03:53PM

The poem is about unrequieted love. A discussion of Hanh's inspiration can be found here:

[www.shambhalasun.com] />
Les


Re: I need some serious help on the poem "The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way"
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: May 19, 2003 06:17PM


Reading it (without having seen Les's reply) I just thought it was about CHANGE in general -- how hard it is. Even if something new and wonderful (spring) is coming into your life, it's hard to let go--even of something that has been really difficult (winter).

Here's what it really reminds me of:

I'm very close to someone who has been severly depressed for a long time and has a very hard time even WANTING to really recover -- in fact, sometimes a "good day" can trigger a bad relapse! It's like seeing someone come in from the cold, frozen and frost-bitten, and then find the warmth inside so painful that they keep running back outside again.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem "The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way"
Posted by: Les (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: May 19, 2003 07:14PM

Marian, who better than a Buddhist monk would recognize that spring is the time of rejuvenation, rebirth, the mating season. How sad to be aware at such a young age that duty to one's faith will leave you mateless forever.

Les


Re: I need some serious help on the poem
Posted by: Zonetime32 (---.lncstr01.pa.comcast.net)
Date: May 19, 2003 09:16PM

Thanks guys. I really appreciate your help.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem
Posted by: Zonetime32 (---.lncstr01.pa.comcast.net)
Date: May 19, 2003 09:18PM

BUT, I need to really break this poem down from stanza to stanza. Take metaphors and explain what he was really meant.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem "The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way"
Posted by: Pam Adams (---)
Date: May 20, 2003 02:06PM

Try breaking it down sentence by sentence. It helps to think of interpreting the lines in light of the back story.

"Spring comes slowly and quietly
to allow Winter to withdraw
slowly and quietly."

-Not a big seasonal change, but subtle changing of one to another.

"The color of the mountain afternoon
is tinged with nostalgia."

- Something about this afternoon is making me remember things sadly.

"The terrible war flower
has left her footprints-
countless petals of separation and death
in white and violet."

He's seeing the leftover machinery and scars of war- an abandoned tank here, part of a helicopter there, perhaps some graves, or an area that has not grown back from being napalmed.

"Very tenderly, the wound opens itself in the depths of my heart.
Its color is the color of blood,
its nature the nature of separation."

-He's now moving from the scars of war in the countryside to the emotional scars he carries.

"The beauty of Spring blocks my way.
How could I find another path up the mountain?"

-This beautiful day reminds me of my obligations. How can I balance my desires with my obligations?

This is my interpretation, at any rate. Feel free to argue, correct, or deny.

pam


Re: I need some serious help on the poem
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.MCLNVA23.covad.net)
Date: May 20, 2003 02:09PM


Well, I guess you could tell I didn't care for the poem all that much. It seemed yet another entry into the 'teenage angst' poem database, and the language seemed overblown to me.


Spring comes slowly and quietly
to allow Winter to withdraw
slowly and quietly.

[ personification of spring, repetition to keep the pace slow ]

The color of the mountain afternoon
is tinged with nostalgia.

[ synesthesia - hearing colors, seeing sounds, feeling smells, etc.]

The terrible war flower
has left her footprints-
countless petals of separation and death
in white and violet.

[ personification of flower leaving footprints - war reference unclear to me ]

Very tenderly, the wound opens itself in the depths of my heart.
Its color is the color of blood,
its nature the nature of separation.
The beauty of Spring blocks my way.
How could I find another path up the mountain?

[ the mountain - coping with his situation, I would think ]

I suffer so. My soul is frozen.
My heart vibrates like the fragile string of a lute
left out in a stormy night.

[ strange analogy - perhaps that really happens, but I have never noticed it ]

Yes, it is really there. Spring has really come.
But the mourning is heard

[ pun on morning/mourning? ]

clearly, unmistakably,
in the wonderful sounds of the birds.
The morning mist is already born.
The breeze of Spring in its song

[ the breeze of spring is in the morning/mourning mist? again strange ]

expresses both my love and my despair.
The cosmos is so indifferent. Why?

[ rhetorical question, I infer. more suffering/angst ]

To the harbor, I came alone,
and now I leave alone.

[ receives no answers to his questions ]

There are so many paths leading to the homeland.
They all talk to me in silence. I invoke the Absolute.

[ must be a zen thing - the sounds in silence & whatever the Absolute is ]

Spring has come
to every corner of the ten directions.
Its song, alas, is only the song
of departure.

[ I know of north, west, east & south, and other compass points, but why there are only ten is unclear to me ]


Re: I need some serious help on the poem
Posted by: zonetime32 (---.lncstr01.pa.comcast.net)
Date: May 20, 2003 02:22PM

Thanks A LOT!!!! I REALLY APPRECIATE your help!!!! Any thing else from anyone else would be AWESOME.

Thanks.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.MCLNVA23.covad.net)
Date: May 20, 2003 09:21PM


No fair. You gotta help some, too. Discuss the metaphor of Spring, for example. What is the vehicle and what the tenor? Find the answer and you will have earned the A grade.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem
Posted by: Zonetime32 (---.lncstr01.pa.comcast.net)
Date: May 21, 2003 09:18AM

No fair?? Come on, I want to see what YOU guys think. Trust me, you don't want know what I think, its not good. If anyone can help me out some more that would be great. Thanks.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.MCLNVA23.covad.net)
Date: May 21, 2003 11:24AM


Bzzt! Disqualified. Next petitioner, please step forward.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem
Posted by: Zonetime32 (---.hacc.edu)
Date: May 21, 2003 12:50PM

Come on Hugh, I need some answers. You did a good job on it before, you were on a roll.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem "The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way"
Posted by: douglas (---.bcftcs.ac.uk)
Date: May 21, 2003 01:06PM

This peom reffers to the fact that nature holds no revevance to human suffering. this can be seen in the fact that the author can see that the spring has come but emotionaly there is no lightening of the mood.
it appears to be a mystery as to why nature does not recognise the fact that for the author there will be no spring.
spring is the symbol of new life and new beginning. the author sees no point in life as the beauty has been removed in another respect.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem "The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way"
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.MCLNVA23.covad.net)
Date: May 21, 2003 01:32PM


Nah, spring is what is blocking his way - the call of his religion.

For more on the ten directions, see [www.wwzc.org];


Re: I need some serious help on the poem "The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way"
Posted by: Pam Adams (---)
Date: May 21, 2003 01:39PM

It's your grade, Zonetime- you get to do some of the work.

pam


Re: I need some serious help on the poem "The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way"
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.MCLNVA23.covad.net)
Date: May 21, 2003 01:59PM


< aside > No problem, I have sent him on a false trail with the spring metaphor - the beauty of spring is the babe, of course. < /aside >


Re: I need some serious help on the poem &quot;The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way&quot;
Posted by: Pam Adams (---)
Date: May 21, 2003 02:12PM

Ah yes, the old 'it's about love' ploy.

pam


Re: I need some serious help on the poem &quot;The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way&quot;
Posted by: Pam Adams (---)
Date: May 21, 2003 03:31PM

I hope this guy doesn't wind up with the Abelard treatment.

pam


Re: I need some serious help on the poem &quot;The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way&quot;
Posted by: zonetime (---.hacc.edu)
Date: May 21, 2003 04:06PM

What are you guys talking about?? You guys didn't set me up did you?? If not, I REALLY appreciate all of your help. Thanks. :-)


Re: I need some serious help on the poem &quot;The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way&quot;
Posted by: Les (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: May 21, 2003 04:17PM

Zonetime, a word to the wise....... Stop spending all your time on the web and start writing. As an old experienced teacher once told me, "It's not what you say, but how you say it that gets you the 'A'." You've gotten enough information here to figure things out for yourself. Run with it, I'm sure you'll do well.

Les


Re: I need some serious help on the poem &quot;The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way&quot;
Posted by: Alexandra Kilpatrick (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: May 21, 2003 06:17PM

This account made me cry - whatever the worth of the poem I would never have drawn the inference of its inspiration. I see that Hugh doesn't care for it much but there is something so powerful about the futility of this love that moves me. On first reading,without having read the poet's account, I was thinking "How could I find another path up the mountain" reminded me of A Pilgrim's Progress.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem &quot;The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way&quot;
Posted by: Zonetime (---.lncstr01.pa.comcast.net)
Date: June 01, 2003 06:04PM

Well, I got my grade for the semester. I got an A!!!! I got an A on the final as well. Thanks for all the help guys, you saved me!!!!


Re: I need some serious help on the poem &quot;The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way&quot;
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.MCLNVA23.covad.net)
Date: June 01, 2003 08:08PM


And you're not posting us a copy!? Too cruel.


Re: I need some serious help on the poem &quot;The beauty of Spring Blocks My Way&quot;
Posted by: zonetime (---.lncstr01.pa.comcast.net)
Date: June 03, 2003 11:16PM

A copy?? Lol, just take my word for it and be GLAD!!! Yeah!!!




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