Today is Labor Day, which typically signals the end of summer as students head back to school and the weather slowly begins to change.
Since I headed back to school and began my junior year at Hope College I have been thinking about change. I do not often think of change as beautiful because I enjoy routine and consistency. However, this poem by Richard Wilbur reminded me that change is necessary for summer to turn into fall, my favorite season.
The Beautiful Changes
By Richard Wilbur
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.
One of my favorite things about this poem is the word choice. I had to google some of the words, such as Lucernes (a term for alfalfa) and sunder.
The poem is filled with plants and animals, which brings it to life. It also makes me feel at peace as if I was in nature. I could clearly see a pond with water lilies on the surface as Wilbur describes.
My favorite lines of the poem are, “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.”
These lines remind me that change takes time to get used to, but it also often allows us to discover something new and wonderful.