The Elder

Against the clear blue with wisps of white,
the Elder stretches crooked boughs.
Fallen leaves are scarce though not turned white.
Fragile boughs, brittle-aged boughs,
His space held with grace, roots still dug deep.
Hundreds of years, a long, meaningful life;
facing all in stillness, peace laid deep.
Un-chased dreams, no trace of strife—a free life.

Photo courtesy of Isadore Gruye

Inspired by an eight line poem by William Butler Yeats; The Sunday Mini Challenge at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads:  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/

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47 Comments

  1. Oh WOW!! I love your take on this image. I used the same one…I love how you brought personality to the tree and the form flows so smoothly and expresses so much. Nicely done!

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  2. Those last four lines are brilliant. They so sum up a tree.

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  3. This is just a most beautiful poem. It is an excellent interpretation of the photo, but would stand alone too.
    I love the repetition of this line:
    Fragile boughs, brittle-aged boughs… The words resonate.

    Thank you for your participation in the RT mini-challenge.

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    • Many thanks for your generous compliment, Kerry. It was a challenging prompt which I really enjoyed…and thanks for that too.

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  4. A beautiful poem with a lesson in among its words for us all I think 🙂

    Love Christine xxx

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  5. Lovely wordplay ~ wishing everyone a free life

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  6. I sorely need some of this. Well done! k.

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  7. Very effective portrait of a tree,(each does have a personality, I think) and an excellent use of the form, Bodhirose. It exhales the peace of a natural existence.

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    • Thank you…I think they have personalities too. I love that…”exhales the peace of a natural existence.” Makes me relax just reading it.

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  8. margaretbednar

     /  November 18, 2012

    His space held with grace
    and calling the tree and “Elder” lends a lot of dignity to this poem. Trees are one of my favorite things to photograph but am often disappointed as I often feel I failed to capture the uniqueness in each.

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  9. Difficult to capture the spirit of a tree in a photograph sometimes. I think those ancient trees deserve the respect of our “elders”…they are special souls.

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  10. ohh, how sentimental… “un-chased dreams.” very nice.

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  11. 🙂 The picture almost looks like the tree branches are holding that cloud! There is something so majestic about very old trees. Your poem did it justice.

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  12. Beautifully written. The reader feels the peace , “his space held with grace, roots still dug in deep”. Lovely.

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  13. I don’t believe I’ve ever actually seen an Elder Tree. You paint a lovely picture.

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  14. Wonderful portrait. The repeated words–white boughs deep life–are well chosen for the essence you mean to bring out. Odd, isn’t it, how the deep-rooted freedom and peace are just as attractive, or more so, even, than the dancer in the dance? It must have to so with crossing the line between youthful and elderly–which occurs earlier or later in the middle years depending on who we are.

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    • It is odd…the tree is “root-bound” but lives his life in peace…steadfast. Well, at least in my mind he does. Thanks for coming by, Susan.

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  15. Beautiful….I needed some peace tonight…

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  16. I love the grace of the elder tree specially these lines:

    His space held with grace, roots still dug deep.
    Hundreds of years, a long, meaningful life;

    Great to see you at the RT Garden ~

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    • Thanks for coming by Grace and your appreciation. I hope to be a more regular visitor over there. I always enjoy the prompts…and the group of participants.

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  17. Nice to present the tree as free even though it is bound by its roots.

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  18. Love trees and this is a wonderul tribute well written.

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  19. Perfect subject for the Yeats exercise. I love the internal rhyme and half-rhyme.

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  20. The last line leaves me wanting to be that tree. A lovely poem.
    K

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  21. Trees are full of wisdom, and this Elder shows us the way..
    beautiful Gayle… thank you xox

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  22. I love the imagery in this. It’s a wonderful poem.

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  23. So much wisdom in trees, even those that are ‘on their last legs.’ I especially love: ‘His space held with grace, roots still dug deep.’

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