The Beautiful Changes

The Beautiful Changes

One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides
The Queen Anne’s Lace lying like lilies
On water; it glides
So from the walker, it turns
Dry grass to a lake, as the slightest shade of you
Valleys my mind in fabulous blue Lucernes.

The beautiful changes as a forest is changed
By a chameleon’s tuning his skin to it;
As a mantis, arranged
On a green leaf, grows
Into it, makes the leaf leafier, and proves
Any greenness is deeper than anyone knows.

Your hands hold roses always in a way that says
They are not only yours; the beautiful changes
In such kind ways,
Wishing ever to sunder
Things and things’ selves for a second finding, to lose
For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.

-Richard Wilbur, from Collected Poems 1943-2004

7 thoughts on “The Beautiful Changes

  1. I particularly enjoyed these lines:

    “the beautiful changes
    In such kind ways,
    Wishing ever to sunder
    Things and things’ selves for a second finding…”

    Second findings often outshine the first, by far.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Within the first lines I thought maybe the author was you. As I read on I realized it wasn’t you. Do you write poetry? I looked again at my sister’s memorial video. My brother artfully ended the commemorative with one of her poems. I knew immediately that she had written it.

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  3. Oh my! That picture in stanza #1. Those rich thoughts in #2; image and thought in #3. Really nice!   Although I’m still puzzling over,

    Wishing ever to sunder
    Things and things’ selves for a second finding,

    Now that I see it separately from the lady (or man) with the roses, I think it may have to do with abstraction, especially since the phrase “The Beautiful Changes” seems to require being read as subject and verb, not as adjective and noun as I had first thought.

    On the other hand, perhaps the separating of things from “things’ selves” may refer to looking directly at a beautiful object without being distracted by context or, say, personal history. Anyway…

    My favorite lines are:

    it glides
    So from the walker, it turns
    Dry grass to a lake

    .    .    .    .    .

    Thank you for a pleasant break in a cold grey morning here!

    Like

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