Ted Hughes, 1930-1998, British
(separating the work from the suicide of two women and, especially, from the reality of these particular flora, so unpretentious, unobtrusive in temperate climates)
Here is the fern’s frond, unfurling a gesture,
Like a conductor whose music will now be pause
And the one note of silence
To which the whole earth dances gravely –
A Bird’s Nest fern at the ‘Victorian’ Fernery, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
A dancer, leftover, among crumbs and remains
Of God’s drunken supper,
Dancing to start things up again.
And they do start up – to the one note of silence.
The mouse’s ear unfurls its trust.
The spider takes up her bequest.
A spider among the Fothergilla, Mt. Cuba, Delaware, 2019 which mature earlier than the ferns
And the retina
Reins the Creation with a bridle of water.
How many went under? Everything up to this point went under.
Now they start up again
Dancing gravely, like the plume
Of a warrior returning, under the low hills,
Into his own kingdom