This post is full of trees! You may not be a student, but you're about to get poetry, opera, music, Italian, and nature photography lessons all rolled in one. Enjoy!
I love that poem! Most of us are only familiar with the first two lines, but isn't it fun to find out there is more? The lines are written as couplets, with rhyming pairs. The rhythm is iambic tetrameter because there are four pairs (tetrameter) of unstressed-stressed syllables (iambic). There's your poetry lesson for the day.
I can relate to the character of Xerxes in Handel's opera Serses, who sang an ode to a plane tree. On Christmas Eve 1906, the aria "Ombra Mai Fu" became the first music to be broadcast on radio. I have included the lyrics and English translation below. This is one of the pieces that my daughter and I enjoyed at the "Nature in Music" symphony concert last week. If the videos don't load automatically, you can find them here: Jackie Evancho and Andreas Scholl.
“Ombra Mai Fu”
del mio platano amato
per voi risplenda il fato.
Tuoni, lampi, e procelle
non v'oltraggino mai la cara pace,
né giunga a profanarvi austro rapace.
Ombra mai fu
cara ed amabile,
of my beloved plane tree,
let Fate smile upon you.
May thunder, lightning, and storms
never disturb your dear peace
nor may you by blowing winds
Never was a shade
of any plant
dearer and more lovely
or more sweet.
[Other symphony posts: Vivaldi's "Spring" and Holst's "Jupiter" and Beethoven's 6th Symphony, 4th Movement]
Let us take time to enjoy trees in every season of the year. Be sure to notice the uniqueness of each - the trunk, roots, branches, bark, leaves, flowers, seed pods, size, shape, colors, age, and silhouette against the sky. See the difference from season to season. Admire their majesty, and then think of the Grand Creator who made them all.
Here are some of my tree photos from my blogs:
|Morning walk in the neighbhorhood|
|Kewanee Park in the fog|
|Tabebuia tree in April|
|Golden rain tree in February|
|Seed pods on the same tree|
|Golden rain tree in October|
|Palm tree with seeds|
|Altamonte Springs, Florida|
|Lake Johnson in Raleigh, North Carolina|
|Little Econlockhatchee River|
|Crane's Roost in Altamonte Springs, Florida|
|Huge banyan tree in Cypress Gardens|
|Closer shot of the banyan tree|
|Floss silk tree at Leu Gardens|
|Closer view of floss silk tree|
|Trees in a flooded field|
|"The Senator" in Big Tree Park|
(unfortunately burned down a few years ago)
|"The Senator" again|
|Muir Woods in northern California|
(taken by my mother or my daughter Naomi)
I haven't been there since I was about 13,
but these were the trees of my California childhood!
No wonder I love trees!
... and trees!